Bellini's Brain: Signs of CTE Discovered
Star Brazilian halfback lived to the ripe old age of 83.
He was the captain of Brazil's World Cup champions in 1958 -- when Péle formally introduced himself to the global community -- and credited as the first to raise the trophy over his head, which has become a symbol of triumph in competitions across many sports. Bellini earned 51 caps in his solid career.
How many he remembered at the end is unknown. Thought to be suffering from Alzheimer's Disease when he died in March, posthumous analysis has shown otherwise.
Back in 2007, indications of brain shrinkage in soccer players led to more thorough research, many results of which have come to the fore with advances in technology. Newer tools enabled this report in 2013:
Ironically, another report issued in 2013 concluded that soccer players' brains also developed inceased neurological activity that enabled them to rapidly recognize the nature of an opponent's movements. Thus, they're able to react at a quicker, more efficient level.
No, that wasn't his agent or publicist doing the play-by-play. And that dude might want to re-think the billiance on steroids hyperbole.
So the brain can giveth. Unfortunately, this and other games can taketh away.
The research will continue. The poobahs of sport would be well served to acknowledge it.