The video that explains the greatness of Pelè: he invented everything that today’s footballers do

Reviewing the images of his plays one is enchanted. The Black Pearl looked like a footballer from the future, his exploits have been emulated by the most recent champions, from Cristiano Ronaldo to Zidane via Cruijff.

One of Pelé’s plays engraved in the history of football.

Ten was just a number and soccer was just a sport. At least before it arrived Pele. The words that Neymar dedicated to o Rey I sum up well what the Black Pearl represented in the world of football. “He stopped a war”wrote the family in the message announcing it the death feeding the aura of legend and mysticism around his figure.

Watching the videos of his plays one is enchanted, with one’s mouth open. Anyone with white hair remembers that leap to strike his head: he climbed towards the sky, Burgnich remained on the ground with his head up. It happened in the World Cup final with Italy (1970), more than 50 years have passed since then but certain things stop time. He seemed to fly, levitating as if propelled by a supernatural force. This always happens when the god of football gives a caress and a sign of peace through his favorite champions.

Pelé in front of the photos of his iconic bicycle kick.

Pelé in front of the photos of his iconic bicycle kick.

Eternal, Santos wrote in the tweet with which he paid homage to his greatness and memory. He seemed to come from the future: just take a look at his prowess to understand how, from Cruijff to Cristiano Ronaldo, from Xavi and Iniesta’s Barcelona tightrope walkers to Zidane, his natural talent inspired, anticipated the technical gestures exhibited by the champions who they would have trod the fields after him.

Put aside the overhead kick in Escape to Victory, the film in which he scored an epic goal in the match between a selection of German prisoners and a team from Nazi Germany. That’s folklore in celluloid, the rest, live, was pure magic.

Take two minutes of time and let the clip marked by dribbling, sudden changes of pace, juggling with the ball, lunges and juggling tricks, explain more than a thousand words what was the scope of his football. He didn’t play football, Pele was football.

O Rey enters the field with Santos' number ten shirt, a crowd of photographers awaits him.

O Rey enters the field with Santos’ number ten shirt, a crowd of photographers awaits him.

The tulip of the Dutch clockwork orange, Cruijff, earned the nickname of white Pelé for the movements that – years later – would have won applause on the great international stage. The feints of CR7 was something already seen. The coordination of the magician Iniesta jumping opponents beautiful style like skittles is the transposition of something legendary.

And then there’s him, Maradona. The former Pibe de Oro, the Argentine historical rival of the Brazilians. Goal man of the century. Pelé used to say that the best footballer in the world for him was Di Stefano from Real Madrid, glossing over the diatribe on who was the all-time champion. Today they dribble in the sky together.

The video that explains the greatness of Pelè: he invented everything that today’s footballers do