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Carlos Alberto Torres

For other people named Carlos Alberto Torres, see Carlos Torres (disambiguation).

Carlos Alberto Torres
Full nameCarlos Alberto Torres
Date of birth (1944-07-17) 17 July 1944 (age 76)
Place of birthRio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Playing positionRight back
Senior career*
1977–1980New York Cosmos80(6)
1981California Surf19(2)
1982New York Cosmos20(0)
National team
Teams managed
1988Miami Sharks
1989–1990Once Caldas
1998Atlético Mineiro
2000–2001Unión Magdalena

Carlos Alberto Torres (born 17 July 1944, Rio de Janeiro) is a former Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders of all time. He captained 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.[2]

Carlos Alberto is 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.[3] He is an inductee to the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame, and is 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, Mario Zagallo, Amarildo and Marta.

Personal life

Carlos Alberto was born in Rio de Janeiro. His son is fellow player Carlos Alexandre Torres.

Club career

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

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 Joao Saldanha was tasked with restoring pride and passion to the selecao, 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 final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. 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.[2] In 2002 the UK public voted the goal No. 36 in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.[4] 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.[3]

Coaching career

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 FC 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.

Career statistics


Club performance League
Season Club League Apps Goals
Brazil League
1971 Santos Série A 2 0
1972 20 2
1973 28 6
1974 Fluminense Série A 16 1
1975 18 0
1976 19 3
1977 Flamengo Série A 0 0
United States League
1977 Cosmos NASL 4 0
1978 25 2
1979 New York Cosmos NASL 28 2
1980 23 2
1981 California Surf NASL 19 2
1982 New York Cosmos NASL 20 0
Country Brazil 103 12
United States 119 8
Total 222 20
Brazil national team
Year Apps Goals
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

Playing honours



New York Cosmos

  • NASL Soccer Bowl Championships: 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982
  • Eastern Division, National Conference: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982
  • Trans-Atlantic Cup Championships: 1980




  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Benson, Andrew (2 June 2006). "The perfect goal". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  4. ^ 100 Greatest sporting moments – results Channel 4
  5. ^ Carlos Alberto Torres at

External links