Socrates fell ill during a meal on Thursday and was taken to in a Sao Paulo hospital with a suspected case of food poisoning, before being placed in intensive care after it was discovered he had suffered septic shock.
Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Socrates enjoyed a distinguished playing career and represented Corinthians, Botafogo, Fiorentina, Flamengo and Santos, as well as Brazil.
He captained the 1982 World Cup team. He also played at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, but never managed to win football's biggest prize.
In 2004, more than a decade after retiring, Socrates made a shock appearance for Northern Counties East Football League side Garforth Town, coming on as a substitute against Tadcaster Albion.