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Brazilian soccer great Bellini dies at age 83

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The Canadian Press
3/20/2014 7:27:16 PM
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SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Bellini, Brazil's captain when it won its first World Cup in 1958, died on Thursday from complications following a heart attack. He was 83.

The Hospital 9 de Julho confirmed Bellini's death in a statement.

The central defender became widely known for being the first captain to raise the World Cup trophy above his head as a symbol of triumph. The gesture became immortalized with a statue of Bellini in front of Maracana Stadium.

He had a heart attack on Tuesday and had been hospitalized since then. Local media said he had also been suffering from Alzheimer's.

Bellini also won the 1962 World Cup and played in the tournament one last time in 1966. He played for Brazilian clubs Vasco da Gama, Sao Paulo and Atletico Paranaense.

The World Cup Trophy (Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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