Football can be explained with that chapter of “South Park” in which they come to the conclusion that “The Simpsons” have already done everything. Anything that is tried will already have been done by Pelé. The impossible dribbles, the most spectacular shots, everything was already in Pelé’s head and feet. Even those goals that he invented and that he could not score in the World Cup in Mexico 70, when he was at the top of his career and surrounded by possibly the best team in history. Pele has done it all before.
The maximum expression of his imagination were those non-goals that remained in the collective memory. Especially the one who did not score against Uruguay in the semifinals of the 70 World Cup. The rival and the moment attach more importance to the work, although at that moment the Brazilians had already won 3-1 and the game was coming to an end.
Tostao put the ball deep to Pelé, who faced Mazurkiewicz on his way out. And instead of dribbling after controlling, he did it without touching the ball. he let her gowent forward and, with the Uruguayan goalkeeper disoriented, returned for the ball to finish off, although he was already in a very leaning position and the ball went just wide.
Atilio Ancheta, Uruguay’s number 2, crossed the goal from side to side trying to stop a ball that was dodging him until he ended up doing a somersault and looking askance at how the ball did not reach the goal. Cruyff said that sometimes, when you are winning 4-0, it is better to hit the post than score a goal because the public enjoys the “oops” more than a bit more in the account. That move is one of the most brilliant in history, one of those that is kept forever in memory. Much brighter than any goal, although each one tells the story in his own way. “I went out and Pelé made an exceptional play, but it wasn’t a goal, and that’s what I always wanted in my life, that they didn’t score a goal for me,” Mazurkiewicz recounted.
That World Cup left images for history. None as iconic as that of Pelé when they carry him on their shoulders without a shirt after winning the Jules Rimet Cup in property for Brazil. But it also generated glory for others. Gordon Banks is credited with making the best save in history, also at the World Cup in Mexico, but that photo would not have been possible without Pelé’s header that forced the English goalkeeper to stretch to go down in history. “I scored the goal, but Banks stopped it”, later summarized the Brazilian. “I heard Pelé shout goal,” the English goalkeeper later confessed. “The stop of the century” they called it. Such was the greatness of Pelé that to avoid his goals you had to make the best save in history.
That happened in the second game of the group stage. But before, In the premiere of the Brazilians against Czechoslovakia, Pelé had left another “non-goal” for history. He picked up a loose ball in the center circle in his own half, checked it with his eyes, not touching it, and with a few slow steps, raised his head, saw that Viktor, the opposing goalkeeper, was ahead and shot on goal. from almost sixty meters. A few centimeters separated the ball from the goal and Viktor, who clung to the post like someone who grabs a lifeboat after falling from the Titanic, from the heart attack.
Plays like these are what make his peers consider him the best in history. «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 can’t put it in any comparison because it is far from everyone, far absolutely. He was the best, he was supernatural, it was impossible,” says César Luis Menotti, who was his teammate at Santos.