Bellini's World Cup gesture became immortalized with a statue in front of Maracana Stadium.
Bellini's World Cup gesture became immortalized with a statue in front of Maracana Stadium.
Vanderlei Almeida/Getty via AFP

SAO PAULO (AP) 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 appeared in the 1966 tournament. He played for Brazilian clubs Vasco da Gama, Sao Paulo and Atletico Paranaense.

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