Brazilian football icon Socrates was in "critical condition" in an intensive care unit today after suffering an intestinal infection.

Albert Einstein Hospital announced in a statement that Socrates, 57, "was in critical condition due to a septic shock of intestinal origin."

The statement added that Socrates - captain of the thrilling 1982 World Cup finals team which is widely believed to be the best Brazilian side not to lift the trophy - was breathing with a ventilator and using a dialysis machine.

He was taken to hospital late last night after suffering food poisoning.

Socrates was hospitalized twice in August and September this year with bleeding in his digestive tract.

Socrates, who also played in the 1986 World Cup finals but was not fully fit, played his club football for Brazilian club Corinthians (1978-1984) and Italian side Fiorentina (1984-1985).