Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira (born February 19, 1954), more commonly known as simply Sócrates, was a superlative Brazilian football player.
In the Brazilian tradition of endowing footballers with pseudonyms, he was nicknamed "Sócrates" due to his penchant for reading books, a habit considered sufficiently eccentric by his team-mates to warrant naming him for it.
His ability to read the game was highly valued, but his touch on the ball was impeccable as well. His signature was the blind heel pass.
Sócrates is a doctor of medicine, probably a unique case of a professional soccer player having such a high degree of education. He is also a noted intellectual, and a heavy smoker.
As one of the best midfielders in football history, Sócrates played for Brazil in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. He began playing football professionally in 1974 in his hometown of Riberão Preto in São Paulo state, but spent the majority of his career (1978 to 1984) with Corinthians in São Paulo, where he became famous for using football to challenge the existing military dictatorship. Sócrates also played for the Italian club Fiorentina and the Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Santos towards the end of his career. In 2004, more than a decade after retiring, Sócrates agreed a one month player-coaching deal with Garforth Town Football Club of the Northern Counties East Football League in England.