The King is Dead. Long Live the King, Part 2: Pelé the Man.

A banner put up by fans of Pelé’s former club Santos in his honour; as mentioned in the first part of this article, Pelé was often nicknamed “O Rei” (“The King,” in Portuguese).BW Press/Shutterstock.com

In the first part of this article on Pelé, I explored his club career, playing style, records, and in particular, his international and World Cup performances with Brazil, as well as his achievements and standing among the other legends of the beautiful game. The second part of the article will instead examine what exactly made him such a legendary figure off the pitch as well, beyond his footballing ability, athleticism, skill, prolific performances, records, and success.


Pelé as a Symbol

As mentioned in the first part of this article, Pelé had a truly remarkable career with Santos and Brazil, but he was more than just a truly great football player. Also known by the nickname “The Black Pearl,” he was an idol for all Brazilians, but also a political symbol for many poor Afro-Brazilians in particular, as well as Black people (including athletes) across the planet. Throughout his career, Pelé experienced racism, such as racially charged nicknames and monkey chants from opposing fans. However, with his success at the 1958 World Cup, in a time before the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act had been passed in the United States, and during the apartheid era in South Africa, he demonstrated as a Black athlete, from humble origins, who, as Barney Ronay of The Guardian notes, succeeded at the highest level with “nothing but talent to guide him,” that people like him across the globe could succeed against all odds with talent and will-power. Pelé’s global influence was demonstrated in 1969, when a 48-hour ceasefire was agreed to during the Nigerian Civil War, in order for people to watch Pelé play an exhibition game against Lagos side Stationary Stores FC. Despite offers from several top European clubs, the Brazilian government even declared Pelé a “national treasure” in order to prevent him from moving abroad. Moreover, Pelé’s playing style was firmly rooted in the Afro-Brazilian ginga style (literally translating to ‘sway’, ‘swing‘ or ‘rock back and forth’), which in turn has its origins in the flowing, rhythmic movements and footwork of the dance-like Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira; surprisingly, this is something which his rather saccharine, clichéd, superficial, and at times revisionist 2016 biopic, Pelé: Birth of a Legend, even touches upon. As Jack Holmes of Esquire puts it, ginga is defined by “one’s rhythm in moving with the ball to deceive an opponent.” The style is extremely prevalent in Brazilian futsal, which Pelé also played in his youth; however, following Brazil’s failure to win the 1950 World Cup on home soil, and the success of more physical and tactically rigorous European sides in the 1954 edition of the tournament, there was a strong, racially charged opposition to this style of play; in fact, it was even used as a scapegoat for Brazil’s defeat to Uruguay in the final match of the 1950 World Cup at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which, as mentioned in the first part of this article, is widely known today as the ‘Maracanazo.’ However, Pelé, along with several Afro-Brazilian players, formed the fulcrum of the highly entertaining 1958 World Cup-winning side, which not only conquered the world, beating out several leading European footballing nations in the process, but also everyone’s hearts: they proved their detractors wrong by re-introducing the flamboyant and entertaining style successfully, while combining it with more recent tactical advancements, and it would become closely associated with the identity of the Brazilian game from that moment. This aesthetically pleasing and exciting offensive–minded style of play is known internationally as ‘joga bonito‘ (literally ‘play beautifully,’ in Portuguese) or ‘jogo bonito’ (‘beautiful game,’ in Portuguese), as mentioned in the first part of this article, as it focusses on stylish and intricate passing, possession, technical skill, flair, and off-the ball movement.

“There were some in Brazil who thought we should make that our football culture. We would say, ‘We want to dance. We want to ginga. Football is not about fighting to the death. You have to play beautifully.’ And so we did, and that’s the reason that Brazil created more of a show, more of a ballet, than the European style.”

Pelé on the Brazilian ‘joga bonito’ playing style

As with many countries who either colonised, or who were the victims of European colonialism, racism is still a complex and prevalent issue in Brazil, which also extends itself to Brazilian football (as is unfortunately the case with football across the globe). As Dr. Greg Bocketti notes in his 2016 book The Invention of The Beautiful Game: Football and the Making of Modern Brazil, historically, football in Brazil was initially Eurocentric and exclusionary, favouring wealthy, white, upper-class males, which reflected the fact that the sport was seen as European, with wealthy white men such as Oscar Cox and Charles Miller bringing the sport to the country at the turn of the century after studying it in Europe; as such, many clubs were also being run by these privileged white men. The few players of colour who were able to succeed in Brazilian football in the early 20th century, such as Arthur Friedenreich, even preferred to be identified as being white, as it made them more “accepted by Brazilian elites.” As Gabriel Leão notes in a 2023 article for Al Jazeera, “…in the 1910s and 20s, some Afro-Brazilian players felt compelled to straighten their hair and put rice powder on their skin to hide their African features.” In the 1930s, policies were introduced by former Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas, which allowed non-white Brazilian players from working class backgrounds to break into the sport successfully, although it did not succeed in eliminating racism altogether, despite persisting myths of a utopian Brazilian “racial democracy“; this notion, which denied the existence of racism in the country, had initially been put forward in the 1930s by Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre, and the idea continued to be promoted and reinforced by the military dictatorship when it came to power following a 1964 coup.

“This stance that he [Pelé] took was very calculated, coming from a Black man who knew how to play the game of racism in Brazil. In this sense and many others, he is a winner. A Black man that became a Brazilian symbol, a country that in many moments projected itself as white. This is based on a very sophisticated assessment that he made on how Brazil works.”

Brazilian historian Ynaê Lopes dos Santos

The link between the ginga footwork from capoeira and Brazilian football is also complicated, and its negative perception is also historically tied to racism in the country. Although capoeira’s true origins have been unfortunately erased, in an attempt to eliminate records of slavery in Brazil following the passing of the so-called “Golden Law,” as is noted in Nestor Capoeira’s The Little Capoeira Book, it is believed that capoeira emerged as an empowering form of fighting disguised as dancing among Afro-Brazilians in captivity. It was a synthesis of several century-old African dances (some of which are traced back to Angola), music, and fights, which was developed through to the nineteenth century by Black enslaved Africans – who had been brought to Brazil by force by Portugese colonisers – as a form of self-defence against their captors, in the absence of weapons. Some enslaved Afro-Brazilians even managed to use capoeira to rebel and escape, forming villages in the jungle known as Quilombos. Following the abolition of slavery in 1888 (Brazil was the last country in the western hemisphere to do so, only 52 years before Pelé was born), with the Brazilian government fearing its use could lead to largescale revolts, capoeira was outlawed in Brazil from 1892 until 1934; its practice – as well as other cultural practices with African roots such as samba – was often looked down upon in the public eye, and was frequently stereotyped as being closely associated with street violence. One of the few ways in which it could still be practised by Afro-Brazilians was by using elements of it while playing football.

“Capoeira or the Dance of War” by Johann Moritz Rugendas 1825, published in 1835

Of course, while this connection is deeply interesting and suggestive, this is certainly a delicate subject to touch upon as well, especially given the continued racism and stereotyping that players of colour still experience, and the excessive negative scrutiny that talented Afro-Brazilian footballers – such as Ronaldinho – have often faced in comparison to their white counter-parts – such as Kaká; indeed, as Dr. Paolo Demuru notes in his 2014 paper “From Football to Futebol: A Glocal Perspective on the Influence of Europe on Brazilian Football (and Vice Versa),” the connection between capoeira and the popularisation of football among Afro-Brazilians was also used negatively in the media. Specifically, the press often painted suburban Afro-Brazilian footballers as practicising an illegal or violent variation of the game, inspired by capoeira, even though this wasn’t the case. It is therefore even more ironic that despite this racial prejudice and offensive, insidious stereotyping, it was actually often Afro-Brazilian players who were the target of unwarranted violence during matches, all while continuing to experience stereotypical insults regarding their cultural background. As such, one also doesn’t ever want to resort to the harmful stereotypes made about Brazilian people being strongly linked with dance, which are all too common in the football media, as exemplified by the fact that stylish historic Brazilian World Cup sides are often even referred to as the “samba kings” (a label that some Brazilian people despise). Although possibly said with innocuous or even praiseworthy intentions at the time, Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini’s famous comment about the continental stylistic differences in football, in which he compared European football to “prose,” while likening Brazilian football to “poetry,” also didn’t help to remove these stereotypes from the broader cultural landscape. These perpetual clichés seem particularly out of place today, however, especially when many Brazilian World Cup sides have been criticised by journalists for lacking the flair or success of previous generations, with the fact that many Brazilian players play abroad, and in Europe in particular – where this sort of gameplay is discouraged in favour of more pragmatic styles – frequently being brought up in the media as a potential reason for the decline of ‘jogo bonito.’ Putting these stereotypes aside, it is apparent, however, that there is a unique cultural difference in the gameplay of technical and offensive minded Afro-Brazilian and white Brazilian footballers, which is evidently tied to the rich, beautiful, but also tragic history of capoeira. Indeed, Demuru also notes that the dance–like ginga footwork – made up of feints and trickery – and the penchant for dribbling among Afro-Brazilian footballers also arose out of a necessity for these players “…to avoid hard physical contact” whenever they were targeted. In many ways, Pelé, and his Afro-Brazilian teammates, are to thank for having reintroduced this style successfully, and for demonstrating this beautiful way of playing football to the world. He seemed to be disillusioned in his later life with the fact that Brazilian football seemed to have lost this innate quality. It is therefore also interesting that, given capoeira’s connection to the style of football popularised by Pelé, in his post-retirement role as Brazil’s minister of sports, he even tried to have capoeira accredited as an Olympic sport.

Pelé, wearing the number 10 shirt, taking on several Swedish players during the 1958 World Cup final

Pelé’s legacy on the game is also apparent by how he completely changed the way the number ten shirt was viewed in football. Interestingly, the number ten shirt was reportedly first given to him somewhat accidentally while still a youngster at the 1958 World Cup, after Brazil had forgotten to allocate shirt numbers to their players, leading FIFA to assign them randomly for the Brazilian players.

“The No.10 jersey was given to me at a World Cup match in 1958. Nobody was that important to wear the No.10 and even though I was not the oldest player in the squad, it coincidentally dropped to me to wear at the World Cup.”

Pelé on how he came to wear the number ten shirt

He went on to wear that shirt number for the rest of his career, and as a result, it became synonymous with his stardom. As his compatriot Neymar put it with a touching post on Instagram following Pelé’s passing, “Before Pelé, ’10’ was just a number.” With the fixed numbering system for players in the starting–XI at the time, the number ten jersey subsequently became synonymous with the advanced playmaking role between the forward and midfield lines, a position which has often held by a highly technical and creative player with an eye for goal, who was responsible for creating and scoring goals. Many other star players occupied this position in their teams, which contributed to its iconic status and association with the position. For example, legends such as Zico (Brazil), Michel Platini (France), Diego Maradona (Argentina), Roberto Baggio (Italy), Zinedine Zidane (France), Ronaldinho (Brazil), and Lionel Messi (Argentina), among many others, also donned the iconic shirt number, even once the fixed numbering system was abolished.

“What is certain is that Pelé invented this game, the idea of individual global sporting superstardom, and in a way that is unrepeatable now.”

Barney Ronay, The Guardian, 2021

Beyond his political and athletic influence, and his role in the development of the way football is played, Pelé’s career also coincided with the develoment and modernisation of the game of football. In a 2022 article for ESPN, Tim Vickery stated that Pelé helped transform the World Cup into a global phenomenon, and aided in establishing association football (or soccer, as it is known to many English–speaking North American fans) as the most popular sport in the world. He won his first World Cup as a teenager in 1958, in the black-and-white television era, and lifted his last World Cup title in the advent of the technicolour television era in 1970, which was coincidentally also the last World Cup featuring the Jules Rimet trophy, which Brazil were allowed to keep. The 1970 World Cup therefore seemed to bring about the dawn of a new era of football, as it was also the first tournament to use substitutions, penalty cards, and the iconic Adidas Telstar ball; Panini’s well–known World Cup sticker album also made its debut in that tournament, which, as Mauro Díaz of ESPN notes, “provided fans with a tangible connection and subsequently helped set the foundation for the global collector and sports memorabilia markets in soccer.” Additionally, the 1970 edition was the first tournament to take place in North America; it is therefore seemingly fitting that in the mid–late 1970s, decades before English star David Beckham made a controversial but highly influential and successful move to MLS side LA Galaxy in 2007, to expand the global brand of football, Pelé also contributed to the globalisation of the beautiful game by ending his career with a revolutionary spell in the NASL, at New York Cosmos. Several leading stars from his generation, such as Bobby Moore, Eusébio, Johan Cruyff, Gordon Banks, and George Best, followed his suit. Pelé thus popularised the game even further, and brought it to a new audience within the North American continent, becoming a truly global superstar, and one of the highest paid athletes in the world. It only seems appropriate that when the United States first hosted the World Cup in 1994, it was Brazil who won the title, once again against Italy, as was the case with their last triumph in 1970, coincidentally with Pelé in their ranks.

“My name is Ronald Reagan, I’m the President of the United States of America. But you don’t need to introduce yourself because everyone knows who Pel[é] is.”

U.S. President Ronald Reagan‘s remark upon meeting Pelé in 1986

Life Off the Pitch

Pelé at the World Economic Forum in 2006

After retiring, Pelé worked in a number of different roles, even venturing into politics as Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister for Sport in 1995, as well as in business. In the former role, he attempted to fight corruption in football in his home-country, playing a part in the introduction of several reforms, including the so-called “Pelé’s Law” in 1998, which forced professional clubs to observe business law and pay taxes on time, among other things. He resigned from his post in April of that year, after which it was eliminated. In 1993, he had previously famously criticised corruption in the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), leading to a lengthy feud between Pelé and the federation; Pelé was therefore seen as a symbol of the fight against corruption in Brazilian football. Throughout his tenure, he also also played a role in Brazil’s successful bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Interestingly, aside from this role, unlike many other former players Pelé was not directly involved with football after retiring, aside from a stint as a scout with Premiership side Fulham in 2002, and did not pursue a managerial career. In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom even honoured him with an honourary knighthood. An activist, he was also a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, UNESCO, and the United Nations, and was well-known for his charity, humanitarian, and philanthropic work. Additionally, he also had a number of acting roles, including an appearance in the 1981 film Escape to Victory, and a cameo in the 2016 biopic about his early life, career, and rise to fame at the 1958 World Cup: Pelé: Birth of a Legend; he even wrote and recorded music. His presence and respect in the media was also symbolic for many Afro-Brazilians; as São Paulo journalist Garbiel Leão notes in a 2023 article for Al Jazeera, even in the 80s and 90s, after Pelé’s retirment, it was rare to see Black people on Brazilian television, with Pelé being one of the few exceptions, which made him a symbol even for Afro-Brazilians who had not seen him play football. Although Pelé was at times criticised for not always being explicitly vocal in his fight against discrimination and oppression, especially in comparison to other Black activist athletes such as Muhammad Ali, it must be remembered that it was not easy for someone in his position to be vocal about the racism he suffered; after all, as mentioned in the first part of this article, he was investigated by the Brazilian military dictatorship for left-wing sympathies in 1969. In 2022, however, he also openly demonstrated his activism by posting an open letter to Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Instagram, imploring him to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ahead of the Ukrainian national side’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland.

“I want to use today’s game as an opportunity to make a request: Stop this invasion. No argument exists that can justify violence.

This conflict is wicked, unjustifiable and brings nothing but pain, fear, terror and anguish.”

A translated excerpt of Pelé’s 2022 open letter to Russian leader Vladimir Putin following his invasion of Ukraine

As has often been the case with his footballing ability, where a seemingly endless debate persists over which player between Pelé and Maradona was the greatest male footballer of all time (among others), outside of football, Pelé’s relatively quiet and stable life has also often been contrasted in the media with that of the more exuberant Argentine number ten; even Pelé himself has occasionally done so. Pelé is often depicted in the media as a clean-cut sporting figure and a role model, while Maradona is often portrayed negatively, despite his talent, due to his rebellious nature, cocaine addiction, and his controversial personal life and actions on the pitch. The two players even developed a rivalry themselves when they were both named FIFA Player of the Century in 2000: Maradona won an internet fan poll, while Pelé was instead named the greatest by a FIFA magazine grand jury, leading Maradona to storm off after accepting his award, before Pelé could appear on the stage. This rivalry seemed to be fuelled by the rivalry between their two South American footballing nations, as well as the debate of who was the greater, or even greatest player; putting personal biases aside, it seems clear that, like FIFA and football fans, pundits have also so far failed to reach a consensus on this matter, with World Soccer Magazine naming Pelé the greatest player of the twentieth century in 1999, while Maradona was named the greatest footballer of all time by FourFourTwo Magazine in 2017. Although the two Latin American stars have at times patched things up (with Maradona even hosting Pelé on his TV show La Noche del Diez in 2005), and they certainly respected each other, both number 10s have also often never missed the chance to take petulant jabs at one another throughout the years. Pelé, like his Argentine counterpart, also had his flaws after all, and was capable of being arrogant and brash at times (pointing out that he was superior to both Lionel Messi and Maradona, as he was more complete, due to his two-footedness and ability in the air, and also claiming in 2012 that the young Brazilian talent Neymar was already better than the reigning Ballon d’Or winner Messi), and like Maradona, even had a tendency to use illeisms.

“I’m a Pel[é] fan from way back when I was a kid, and then there was always this thing later about Pel[é] and Maradona. I was young and impressionable as a kid but it was always Pel[é] for me.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

Moreover, despite his significant influence off the pitch and largely pristine image, Pelé certainly also had his struggles. Additionally, although his conduct throughout his career was exemplary, and his lifestyle certainly wasn’t anywhere near as excessive as Maradona’s, sadly, his own personal life was even quite turbulent at times, with several unsuccessful marriages. He married Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi in 1966, a marriage which bore two daughters and a son; they split in 1982, after Pelé was romantically linked with the model and film star Xuxa. He later married singer Assiria Lemos Seixas, who gave birth to twins, but the couple later separated. In 2016, Pelé was married for a third time, on this occasion to Marcia Cibele Aoki, a Japanese-Brazilian businesswoman he first met in 1980. Pelé also had his fair share of scandals, with claims of infidelity, and children born out of wedlock, including with his housemaid Ansia Machado, circulating in the press, although Pelé denied this, and even refused to acknowledge the child – Sandra – as his own, until a court-ordered DNA test proved she was his daughter in 1996. Furthermore, Pelé experienced additional turmoil and distress when his third son, former Santos goalkeeper Edinho, was shockingly incarcerated for drug offences in 2005; the shot-stopper was ultimately charged with drug trafficking and money laundering in 2014, even though Pelé always maintained that his son was innocent. The sentence was later reduced from 33 years to 12 years and 10 months on appeal. Rather touchingly, despite Pelé’s differences with Maradona, who struggled with a cocaine addiction throughout his life, the Brazilian legend candidly discussed his son’s sentence with his rival when he appeared on the latter’s show La Noche del Diez in 2005, hailing the Argentine number ten’s battle to overcome addiction as an inspiration for his son.

Arguably even more seriously, however, some of Pelé’s professional endeavours off the pitch also occasionally attracted controversy. For example, in 2001, a company run by Pelé was accused of being involved in a corruption scandal that reportedly saw $700,000 stolen from UNICEF. Although, in 1995, Pelé’s sports company, Pelé Sports & Marketing (PS&M, founded in 1991), had reportedly signed a contract with UNICEF–Argentina, promising to provide free services in organising a benefit match, according to Alex Bellos of The Guardian, an article by the Folha de São Paulo newspaper later disputed these claims. A parallel contract was supposedly discovered, “…in which a Miami-based company [Sports Vision] would pay Pel[é] $3 million for the event. A $3m loan was arranged with an Argentine bank and $700,000 was transferred to PS&M before the bank went bust.” However, after the organised match was cancelled, the money loaned to Pelé’s sports company was apparently not returned. Although Pelé was ultimately not directly accused, and several figures came to his defence, the scandal still somewhat tarnished his polished reputation and credibility, especially when he had been a symbol for honesty and transparency in football for several years; consequently he promised a full investigation, and also expressed that he believed that it was his business partner, Helio Viana, who had been stealing money. Nevertheless, Pelé later closed down his company following a final audit, after suspecting it had in fact been mismanaged for several years. UNICEF denied the allegations, and no further proof of the incident ever came to light, although Pelé’s business partner, Viana, was accused of five crimes in the final report of parliamentary investigation into football later that year. Interestingly, the inquiries that the Brazilian congress made into financial crimes in football also saw Pelé’s aforementioned long–time feud with the CBF come to an end. Although the final ruling seemingly absolved Pelé from guilt, unfortunately for him, his perceived ignorance and naiveté surrounding the incident did not reflect well on him in the public eye. Given his ethical stance on world issues, and his success and experience in the world of business, as well as in a variety of other significant administrative roles following his retirement, notwithstanding his humble origins, one would have expected Pelé to have been more aware of any unscrupulous actions on behalf of his partner, even if he himself was not directly at fault; as such, the scandal made him appear to be a hypocrite, and drew his competency into question. It should also be noted that, although he initially abandoned his education while only in the fourth grade, after being expelled for playing football during the school day, and began working to help out his family, before starting his professional football career as a teenager, Pelé even rather impressively later attended the Metropolitan University of Santos in 1970, while still a player, pursuing a newly established physical education degree, and graduating in 1974. However, despite his qualifications and experience, as a businessman, he had evidently unintentionally surrounded himself with and put his faith in the wrong people, and ultimately paid the price for this hapless but careless mistake.


Pelé’s Final Years

Pelé at the inauguration of a statue in his honour in Rio de Janeiro, 2016

Despite a full and active life after retiring from professional football, Pelé’s health began to decline in recent years, however, and his public appearances became more limited, as he required the use of a wheelchair following hip surgery. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2021 and had a tumour removed in September of that year. During that same year, it was announced that the Maracanã stadium would be renamed after Pelé in his honour. In November 2022, he was admitted to hospital due to a respiratory infection after contracting COVID-19 and for reassessment of his cancer. By December, he was put on palliative care after unsuccessful treatment, and was unable to return home for Christmas. He passed away on 29 December at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital, at the age of 82, due to multiple organ failure as a result of his colon cancer. Many players paid tribute to him, including compatriot Neymar, Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, young French star Kylian Mbappé, and Argentine number 10 Lionel Messi; regarding the latter player, it is quite touching to learn that despite the footballing rivalry between Brazil and Argentina, according to Pelé’s daughter, once Brazil were eliminated from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (which took place shortly before his death), he had hoped that Messi would deservingly win the title. Because of his impact on his long-time club, his national side, and Brazilian football more broadly, Pelé’s former club Santos even communicated the intention of retiring his iconic number ten shirt, an honour which his former club New York Cosmos of the NASL had already bestowed upon him in 2013.

The Pelé Museum in Santos, Brazil

Rest in peace, Pelé. Like many children, I grew up watching football with the legend of Pelé still very present around us. Brazil were the team to watch and beat in the 90s, filled with plenty of stars we all looked up to (many of whom I was fortunate to watch in Serie A), especially up-front, but even they seemed to be playing in the shadow of Pelé. After all, he was – and still is – the benchmark for greatness, not only in his home-country – with many talented Brazilian players having to face the pressure of being compared to him – but for every legendary player. It seemed that to those who saw him, as brilliant as players like Ronaldo and Messi were, Pelé was unattainable, as his talent and achievements transcended mere football. Despite his flaws, he was a truly remarkable athlete and person, who revolutionised the game, and who became an influential symbol for positive change and success amidst adversity. Following the sad news of Pelé’s passing, another memorable quote by Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich came to mind, regarding the header Pelé scored against him in the 1970 World Cup final, which I feel is an appropriate way to close off this article:

“The cross came in and we both leapt as high as we could. Then I came down to Earth where I belong. And he stayed up there, where he belongs, and scored.”

Tarcisio Burgnich on Pelé’s headed goal in Brazil’s 4–1 against Italy in the 1970 World Cup Final

Without wanting to get spiritual, if there is indeed another life after this one, hopefully Pelé is finally up there where he belongs, maybe even having a kick-about with the likes of the late Maradona (a wish he himself had expressed in an emotional tribute upon learning of the Argentine’s passing two years earlier) and Johan Cruyff. What a truly magnificent sight that would be.

Published by madaboutfootball

A blogger who is deeply interested in football and music

One thought on “The King is Dead. Long Live the King, Part 2: Pelé the Man.

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