Brazil’s first World Cup winning captain Luiz Bellini passes away
Brazil’s first World Cup winning captain Hilderaldo Luiz Bellini has died at the age of 83 on Thursday having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for many years.
The Brazilian Football Confederation confirmed that Bellini had passed away on their website and it comes after the 1958 World Cup winner had been taken ill earlier in the week.
The statement adds that Bellini will be buried in his hometown of Itapira and CBF president José Maria Marin paid tribute to the “great captain”.
English newspaper Daily Mail quoted Marin, who said: “Brazilian football and its fans are mourning the death of a man who was a great captain.
“I had the opportunity to meet him during his time at São Paulo where he proved, as well as being an excellent defender, he was a gentleman and an exemplary professional.”
Bellini only played for three clubs in his career and enjoyed prolonged periods with Vasco da Gama and São Paulo before winding down his playing days with Atlético Paranaense.
He was the first Brazil captain to lift the Jules Rimet trophy as a World Cup winner in 1958 and he followed this up in 1962 by helping his nation retain the trophy.
Bellini featured in the 1966 World Cup in England as well before retiring from international football with 51 caps.
His achievements in the Seleção shirt have previously been honoured with a statue erected outside the Maracanã of Bellini holding the Jules Rimet trophy aloft.