Corinthians honour Socrates with Brazilian title win

Corinthians fans hold up Socrates banner
Fans honoured former midfielder Socrates with banners before kick-off

Corinthians honoured former midfielder Socrates by winning their first Brazilian title for six years following a goalless home draw against Palmeiras.

The former Brazil captain, who scored 172 goals in 297 games for the Sao Paulo club, died on Sunday aged 57.

Before the game, a minute's silence was drowned out by chants of "Doctor" - Socrates' nickname - and fans imitated his raised fist goal celebration.

Supporters also held up banners reading "Doctor Socrates, rest in peace".

A bad-tempered and nervy game at the Pacaembu Stadium saw two players from each side sent off after a mass brawl in the closing stages.

Palmeiras hit the post in the second half but the home side hung on and players and supporters celebrated wildly on the final whistle.

"The Corinthians nation woke up very sad today because of the loss of this incredible person," striker Liedson said.

"The title comes as a small way to honour him."

Defeat for Corinthians would have given second-placed Vasco da Gama a chance to take the title but they were held to a 1-1 draw by fourth-placed Flamengo.

Before the game, Corinthians midfielder Alex said there would be no finer way to pay tribute to Socrates than for the club to get the point they needed to seal their fifth Campeonato Brasileiro.

"The best way for us to celebrate his memory is the title," said Alex.

Former Brazil player Socrates
Socrates scored 22 goals for Brazil and played at two World Cups

"We hope we can lift the title, to win it in the name of Socrates, for the great idol that he is."

Socrates, a trained doctor, represented Corinthians from 1978 to 1984 and founded a pro-democracy movement at the club in opposition to the-then ruling military regime in Brazil.

Widely regareded as one of the greatest midfield playmakers of all time, he represented Brazil at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups.

He was admitted to intensive care with an intestinal infection on Friday before being moved to a life support machine on Sunday.

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