Pelé Died at the Age of 82, Leaving Behind an Unrivalled Legacy
Pelé’s legendary playing career ended before I was born, but as a young child lacing up my little classic Adidas cleats in an oversized club uniform, I knew who he was and what he meant to the soccer world.
After scoring in the 1970 World Cup final, Pelé’s smile and fist in the air will always be a picture in my mind.
We were asked to decorate a folder in elementary school with pictures that showed what we liked and what we were good at. Because I was interested in a lot of different things, I had a lot of different people and things in my folder. And there he was, holding his fist high and taking over the cover, along with cutouts of piano sheet music and Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music dancing on a hill.
Pelé was a great example of everything that is good about sports. He made it look like a beautiful game, and his joy and enthusiasm, along with his skill, made everyone want to watch.
Obrigado, Rei Pelé. pic.twitter.com/2Xb7XElR41
— Santos FC (@SantosFC) December 29, 2022
Pelé’s Impact Extended Beyond Brazil
From 1975 to 1977, Pelé brought his version of “the beautiful game” to the United States. This got people interested in a sport that had always been second to baseball, which was America’s favourite sport.
In the last few years of his career, he played well on fields that had been torn up. Soccer has had other all-time greats, like Maradona and Messi, but Pelé is still the face of the game, even as the sport changes and new stars come up.
The first one is number 10. His legacy and importance to the world of soccer will last long after he’s gone, just like his influence and impact did long after his last game in 1977.
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