Hopes vanished and crying exploded. the former brazilian star Pele He gave in this Thursday, December 29, to a progression of colon cancer that he was facing and for which he was receiving care for “renal and cardiac dysfunctions.” It is the earthly goodbye of the world soccer legend.
“I hope that, when I pass away, God will receive me in the same way that the whole world receives me today because of our beloved football,” said the legendary Pelé in a video, when he celebrated his 80th birthday in October 2020.
That “same way” that Pelé referred to is only one: loving. Shows of affection are universal. “They are the result of a life of ten points, like the number of the jersey that covered his torso during his 21-year sports career. And to globalize a discipline that for many is religion,” the television channel recently stated. French 24 on your website.
Considered by FIFA as the best player of the 20th century -a distinction he shares with the Argentine Diego Maradona- Pelé was also chosen in November 1999 as the best soccer player of the century by a jury led by José Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). ).
Pelé became a planetary icon not only for the three World Cup titles he won with Brazil (Sweden 1958, Chile 1962 and Mexico 1970), an unrepeatable trident to date, but also for carrying, with the Santos Soccer Club, the joy of his magical, artistic, spectacular football, and of goals on the pitches of the five continents, in hundreds of friendly matches between 1958 and 1975. From the main football capitals to the most remote towns in Africa enjoyed Pelé. The first great football idol, with a media impact throughout the universe, is gone.
Pelé stopped a war
“Up to 59 countries are left speechless with this cast of figures who achieve incredible shots, score unimaginable goals and move the ball with a skill never seen before. Hence, countries are paralyzed with his arrival, as José Manuel Ramos Delgado, Argentine central defender of Santos FC since 1968, well remembers: Pelé’s power was incredible. I remember when we went to Nigeria and that country was at war. And the guys stopped the war one day so Santos could play! Amazing!”.
Mario Zagallo, Pelé’s teammate in the conquests of 1958 and 1962, and his coach in the marvelous 1970 Cup, assures that no candidate has emerged to take the crown from oh king. And you don’t need to have been born in Brazil to think that way about Pelé. Neither Diego Maradona nor Lionel Messi, remarked César Luis Menotti, DT of Argentina in the 1978 World Cup.
‘It was supernatural’
“Pele is the best of all, it was supernatural, it was impossible. Any match for Pelé was the world final. You played a training session and it was the world final,” said the champion coach, who was also a brief teammate of the Brazilian at Santos FC, in 1968.
In Sports worldfrom Barcelona, the famous Thin Menotti gave more reasons for his point of view: “For me it was a pleasure to be on a court and see it. He did things you didn’t understand. He liked to play the goalie and not use his hands, he used to do Chilean kicks, popcorn kicks. Personally I cannot put him in any comparison because he is far from everyone, absolutely far ”.
Crowned world champion before turning 18, in Sweden in 1958, the still-child Pelé left behind a classic image that six decades later continues to make the skin of those who observe it in old photos or videos stand on end. It is the one with the face of Pelé buried in the chest of goalkeeper Gilmar, who tries to calm down the great minor who is crying inconsolably because his country beat the hosts 5-2 in the final. Several mischief by the very young Pelé in that final, plus ruthless goals, have just entered history and he cries.
“Inside him there is… football, football, football,” was the headline of an article in the Argentine magazine The graphicin March 1959, when it was already undeniable that Pelé, the teenager, was the best footballer in the world.
with football inside
The text, prepared on the occasion of the Copa América, in Buenos Aires, says of Pelé: “He knows all the known ways of football and knows how to touch the ball; all the legitimate traps (and the others too) that exist to get where others do not want the adversary to go. He knows them all because inside him there is that: soccer, soccer, soccer… always soccer! He has the charming association of what he likes and what is convenient for him to do. His life did not give him time for anything else. That is why he barely went to school, and gave everything to football, a passion with which he has made himself happy and brought happiness to what was once his modest family ”.
In that 1959, remember Mark, from Spain, “the 19-year-old phenomenon scored 127 goals in a single year. That same season he scored what, for him, was the best goal of his career. It was against Juventude, from São Paulo. There are no graphic documents on that target but, thanks to the testimonies of various witnesses, an approximate recreation of the goal was made.
Brazil was born with Pelé
Pelé ‘built’ the Brazilian soccer legend. He is the most visible and important person in charge of the jogo bonito school. With Pelé, the style of winning based on good football over and above any tactical limitations or rigid systems was consolidated in the Auriverde team. That is one of his greatest legacies. for that Paulo Roberto Falcaofabulous midfielder for the Canarinha in Spain 1982, considered Pelé responsible for the “international recognition” of Brazil as a soccer power.
“Until the appearance of Pelé, Brazil was a considerable football (…). Starting with Pelé, it becomes the most winning football in the world, ”he explained to the agency. AFP the journalist Jorge Barraza, former chronicler of The graphicfrom Buenos Aires, and a columnist for EL UNIVERSO, from Guayaquil, since 1990.
Two-time champion in Chile 1962, Peleó only played two games due to injury in that tournament. In England in 1996 he was hunted and annihilated by the Portuguese. “He was, without a doubt, the best footballer on the planet: fast, strong, skilled, intelligent, improvising and selfless. He was a world star, whom the crowds flocked to see. He adored the game and the game adored him,” says the BBC.
But it was in Mexico 1970 where Pelé definitively entered soccer eternity. That World Cup “was an explosion of color and no team had a richer palette than Brazil. In a televised tournament – live and in full color for the first time – the ballet movement and sublime skill of those vibrant canary yellow and cobalt blue suits was a giant leap into a bold and bright new world of soccer. At the center of it all was Pelé, a magnet for the ball on the pitch and for eyes off it.”
In the final, at the Azteca stadium, Brazil crushed defensive Italy. “All our fantasies came true, in the real field, with that Brazil of 1970,” said the English journalist, writer and screenwriter John Carlin.
‘He was not flesh and blood’
Count the BBC on his website: “Some time later, when the dust had settled at Mexico 1970 and Pelé’s exploits had already begun to seep into legend, Tarcisio Burgnich, the man tasked with trying to score him in the final, was asked, about the experience. “I told myself before the game: ‘Pelé is made of flesh and blood, just like me. He was wrong,’ he mused.
If the foregoing – a brief account of Pelé’s sporting exploits and his global impact – is not enough to understand why the world regrets the departure of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, perhaps he explains it better than anyone in the prologue to his autobiography Pele. Memoirs of the best soccer player of all time (Planet publishing house, 2006).
“The Brazil teams of 1958, 1962 and 1970 brought soccer to the whole world and made people fall in love with the game. Our joyful way of playing aroused interest in the rest of the world in this wonderful sport.. In those times we generated a true passion for soccer, a passion that seems to have been passed down genetically, since children are born with hearts full of love for this game.” (D)