RIO DE JANEIRO – Former Brazil goalkeeper Waldir Peres, a member of three World Cup teams, died on Sunday at the age of 66 after a heart attack. His death was announced by his family.
Peres was having lunch with friends in the city of Mogi Mirim in Sao Paulo state when he passed out and was taken to hospital.
He was a starter in the 1982 Brazil team that contained greats Zico, Socrates, and Falcao. Brazil was knocked out by eventual winner Italy in the second round.
The goalie was initially criticized for a mistake in the opening match against the Soviet Union, but Brazil eventually won 2-1 and his performances improved until the 3-2 defeat against the underdog Italians.
Peres was the second player in that team to die, after Socrates in 2011.
He also was in the Brazil squads at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. At home, he was also remembered for his long spell at Sao Paulo FC from 1973 to 1984.
“He was a great partner of all of us of the 1982 squad,” left wing Junior said during a broadcast on TV Globo. “He overcame that mistake of the debut and became one of the reasons we were so confident to charge hard against our adversaries in Spain.”
After beating the Soviets, Brazil beat Scotland, New Zealand and Argentina with impressive perfomances.
Peres’ family said he will be buried on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.