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Mar 20, 2014

Brazil legend Bellini dies at 83

Hilderaldo Bellini, Brazil's captain when they won their first World Cup in 1958, died on Thursday from complications following a heart attack. He was 83.

Bellini started the practice of lifting trophies over one's head. A statue in Rio de Janeiro now features his pose from the 1958 World Cup.

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 immortalised with a statue of Bellini in front of Maracana Stadium.

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

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

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