Carlos Alberto Torres

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Carlos Alberto Torres
Carlos alberto cosmos.jpg
Carlos Alberto with the NY Cosmos in 1979
Personal information
Full name Carlos Alberto Torres
Date of birth (1944-07-17)17 July 1944
Place of birth Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of death 25 October 2016(2016-10-25) (aged 72)
Place of death Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Right-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1966 Fluminense 98 (9)
1966–1974 Santos 445 (40)
1971 Botafogo 22 (0)
1974–1976 Fluminense 50 (4)
1976–1977 Flamengo 28 (3)
1977–1980 New York Cosmos 80 (6)
1981 California Surf 19 (2)
1982 New York Cosmos 20 (0)
Total 743 (64)
National team
1964–1977 Brazil 53 (8)
Teams managed
1983–1985 Flamengo
1985–1986 Corinthians
1987–1988 Náutico
1988 Miami Sharks
1989–1990 Once Caldas
1991–1992 Monterrey
1992 Tijuana
1993–1997 Botafogo
1994 Fluminense
1998 Atlético Mineiro
1998–1999 Querétaro
2000–2001 Unión Magdalena
2000–2001 Oman
2001–2002 Flamengo
2002 Botafogo
2004–2005 Paysandu
2005 Azerbaijan
Men's Football
Representing  Brazil
FIFA World Cup
Winner 1970 Mexico
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Carlos Alberto "Capita" Torres (17 July 1944 – 25 October 2016), also known as "O Capitão do Tri", was a Brazilian football player and manager who played as an attacking right-sided full-back or wing-back.[1] A technically gifted defender with good ball skills and defensive capabilities,[2] he is widely regarded as one of the best defenders of all time. He also stood out for his leadership, and was an excellent penalty taker. Nicknamed O Capitão, he captained the Brazil national team to victory in the 1970 World Cup, scoring the fourth goal in the final, considered one of the greatest goals in the history of the tournament.[3][4]

Carlos Alberto was a member of the World Team of the 20th Century, and in 2004 was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.[5] He was an inductee to the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame, and was a member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.

In January 2013, Carlos Alberto was named one of the six Ambassadors of 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, others being Ronaldo, Bebeto, Mário Zagallo, Amarildo and Marta.

Personal life[edit]

Carlos Alberto was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1944. He had a twin brother, Carlos Roberto, who died one month before him in 2016.[6] His son is fellow player Carlos Alexandre Torres and his daughter Andrea Torres.[7]

Club career[edit]


Carlos Alberto joined Fluminense at the age of 19. He made a name for himself in his first season, not only because of his great tackling and reading of the game, but also for his outstanding ball control, dribbling and playmaking abilities, which were quite rare at the time for a defender. In 1966, he moved to Santos, where he became Pelé's teammate. In 1974, he returned to Fluminense and helped the team capture two consecutive Campeonato Carioca championships. In 1977, he moved to Fluminense's arch-rivals Flamengo.


In 1977, despite his success in Brazil, Carlos Alberto Torres decided to move to the New York Cosmos. He arrived on the day of the New York City blackout where he was reunited with his friend and partner Pelé and helped the Cosmos capture two consecutive NASL titles in 1977 and 1978. After spending one year with the California Surf, he returned to the Cosmos in 1982 where he won his third NASL title. He played his farewell game on 28 September 1982 in an exhibition match between the Cosmos and his former club Flamengo. In 119 regular season games and 26 playoff games, Carlos scored a total of 8 goals and was an NASL All-Star five times.

International career[edit]

Carlos Alberto with the Brazil national team in 1970

From 1964 to 1977, Carlos Alberto was capped 53 times and scored 8 goals. He was included in the 44-man training squad for the 1966 FIFA World Cup but did not make the final 22. As it turned out, Brazil were knocked out at the Group stage in England, and when João Saldanha was tasked with restoring pride and passion to the seleção, he recognised the leadership ability that Carlos Alberto was consistently demonstrating at Santos, and made him national captain. Thus, Carlos Alberto is remembered holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy after Brazil secured the cup for good after an impressive victory over Italy in the 1970 FIFA World Cup Final in Mexico City. That squad also included Clodoaldo, Gérson, Jairzinho, Roberto Rivelino, Tostão and Pelé. Carlos Alberto's goal against Italy in the final is considered one of the best goals ever scored in the tournament.[3] In 2002 the UK public voted the goal No. 36 in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.[8] 1970 would prove to be the only time he would play at that level. He was unable to participate in the 1974 World Cup due to a persistent knee injury. When he eventually regained match fitness, his speed had been compromised. However, his ability to read the game compensated for his loss of pace and when he moved to centre back, he found the form to warrant a recall to the national team. In 1977, he was selected by Claudio Coutinho to captain the national team for the first three qualifiers for the 1978 World Cup. He acquitted himself well despite those being the first competitive internationals he had played for almost seven years. He was approaching 33 years of age and retired from international football, immediately prior to joining New York Cosmos in the NASL. Today he is widely considered one of the finest Brazilian footballers of all time.[5]

Coaching career[edit]

Carlos Alberto in 2011

His career as a football manager started in 1983, when he managed Flamengo. He also managed several other clubs, like Corinthians in 1985 and 1986; Náutico in 1986, 1987 and 1988; Once Caldas on 1989, 1990; Monterrey in 1991, 1992; Club Tijuana in 1992; Fluminense in 1994 and 1995; Botafogo in 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003; Querétaro F.C. in 1999; Unión Magdalena in 2000, 2001; and Paysandu in 2005.

He was also an assistant manager for national teams such as the Nigeria national football team and the Oman national football team. On 14 February 2004 he was appointed manager of the Azerbaijan national football team. He resigned on 4 June 2005 after losing a match against Poland, during which he assaulted the technical referee and ran on the pitch suggesting the referee was bribed.


Torres died in Rio de Janeiro on 25 October 2016[9] due to a sudden heart attack.[10] He was a sports commentator at a Brazilian channel SporTV, having appeared live on studio only two days before his death, which occurred exactly one month after his twin died.[11][12]

Career statistics[edit]


Carlos Alberto (right) with countryfellow Pelé in the New York Cosmos, October 1977
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League
Division Apps Goals
Santos 1971 Série A 2 0
1972 20 2
1973 28 6
Total 50 8
Fluminense 1974 Série A 16 1
1975 18 0
1976 19 3
Total 53 4
Flamengo 1977 Série A 0 0
Cosmos 1977 NASL 4 0
1978 25 2
Total 29 2
New York Cosmos 1979 NASL 28 2
1980 23 2
Total 51 4
California Surf 1981 NASL 19 2
New York Cosmos 1982 NASL 20 0
Total 222 20


Appearances and goals by national team and year[13]
National team Year Apps Goals
Brazil 1964 3 0
1965 1 0
1966 3 0
1967 0 0
1968 18 5
1969 9 0
1970 14 2
1971 0 0
1972 1 1
1973 0 0
1974 0 0
1975 0 0
1976 1 0
1977 3 0
Total 53 8





New York Cosmos




  1. ^ Hayward, Paul (13 June 2010). "Carlos Alberto worried that Dunga's Brazil have abandoned heritage". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  2. ^ "FUT 20 ICONS". 20 September 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b Benson, Andrew (2 June 2006). "The perfect goal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Carlos Alberto, born to be a leader". 31 May 2014. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Brazilian soccer great Carlos Alberto Torres dies".
  7. ^ "Gabriel not first Brazil centre back". 30 January 2015.
  8. ^ 100 Greatest sporting moments – results Channel 4
  9. ^ Mason, Peter (26 October 2016). "Carlos Alberto obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  10. ^ Mará, Márcio (25 October 2016). "Aos 72, morre Carlos Alberto Torres, o maior dos capitães do futebol brasileiro" [Brazilian football loses the biggest of its captains: Carlos Alberto Torres passes away] (in Portuguese). Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer lead tributes to 'brother' Carlos Alberto". Guardian. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Carlos Alberto: Brazil legend dies aged 72 after heart attack". BBC Sport. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  13. ^ Carlos Alberto Torres at
  14. ^ "The Best of The Best" Retrieved on 17 November 2015
  15. ^ "The other two Ballon d'Or Dream Team XIs: Zidane, Cruyff, Iniesta, Di Stefano... but no Casillas". MARCA. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.

External links[edit]

World Cup-winners status
Preceded by
Bobby Moore
Latest Born Captain to Die

25 October 2016 – 25 November 2020
Succeeded by
Diego Maradona