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What did the greatest footballers say about Pelé? This is how Ronaldo, Cruyff, Cafu, Puskas spoke...


Athletes, politicians and artists have praised the game and the legacy of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé, during his time in football. These are some of the most prominent phrases. 

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(CNN Spanish) --

To talk about Edson Arantes do Nascimento it is not necessary to be an expert in soccer, since the Brazilian built a legend around his name in such a way that today the whole world can refer to Pelé as one of the best soccer players in history

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Pelé, who helped Brazil win three World Cup titles, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, has been applauded by generations of players, from those he played with in those golden days, to those who once saw him on the pitch. dreaming of being like him.

The truth is that the words of greatness for the king of soccer have never been lacking, even from those who once faced him on the pitches.

Pelé scored 1,281 goals throughout his professional career, in 1,363 games.

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"Pele revolutionized soccer. Pelé stopped a war. Pelé united countries, united families. There was no problem of race or language," said Cafu, captain of the Brazil team in 2002, which also won the World Cup for his country, in statements to FIFA.

"I was born in 1970. In 2002, I was proclaimed world champion. I was the captain. And from no less than who did I have the honor of receiving the World Cup trophy? From Pelé! Man! If I keep talking, I cry. It's very emotional!" added Cafu.


According to Ronaldo Luís Nazário, another of the great Brazilian soccer players, talking about Pelé is "talking about an entity, it's talking about something far superior to all of them," he told FIFA.

Another of the references of Brazilian soccer, Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade, better known as Tostao, who was part of one of the best Brazilian teams in history, the one in 1970, which won the World Cup, compared Pelé with Maradona and even with Messi, but the verdict for him is final: Pelé is the king.

“I think Pelé was better than all the others.

In my opinion, there is no point of comparison.

He didn't have a single flaw.

Maradona was spectacular, but he was not at the level of Pelé physically, he did not score the number of goals that Pelé scored... If we take the qualities of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi and combine them, then we will have a player to compare with Pelé! , Tostao told FIFA.

And, according to Zico, a former Brazilian soccer player, the debate about the best player in the world was absurd as long as Pelé existed: “This debate about the player of the century is absurd.

There is only one possible answer: Pelé.

He is the greatest footballer of all time, and by far, I would add, ”he said, quoted by FIFA.

These are just some of the examples of how many - from soccer players, to politicians and personalities - praised Pelé as one of the best soccer players in history.

Those who played against him remember him with respect, almost reverence, as Italian defender Tacisio Burgnich, who played Pelé in the 1970 final, put it: "I told myself before the game that he was made of flesh and blood, like everyone else. But I was wrong."

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The Brazilian was applauded even by his own rivals on the field.

This was remembered by the Swedish midfielder Sigge Parling, whose team lost 5-2 in the 1958 World Cup final. In that match, a young Pelé, only 17 years old, scored two of the goals.

“After the fifth goal, I felt like applauding,” Parling said after the game, according to FIFA.

Brazilian striker Pelé (center) congratulates his teammate Vava (number 20) after he scored a goal as Swedish goalkeeper Karl Svensson looks down, on June 28, 1958 in Stockholm during the World Cup final between Brazil and Sweden.

Vava and Pelé each scored two goals as Brazil won their first world title by defeating hosts Sweden 5-2.

(Photo: STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Pelé, beyond football: the inspiration of other personalities

But not only footballers have talked about Pelé.

Renowned personalities such as the American artist Andy Wharhol and even the president of the United States, Ronald Regan and the South African leader Nelson Mandela, had words of admiration for Pelé.

"Pelé was one of the few who contradicted my theory: instead of 15 minutes of fame, he's going to have 15 centuries," said American artist Andy Warhol, who worked with Pelé at one time.

For Mandela, watching Pelé play was something extraordinary, the mix between the happiness of a child and the elegance of a man: "Watching him play was seeing the joy of a child combined with the extraordinary elegance of a whole man," said the South African leader. .

The Italian writer and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini said that Pelé was "poetry": "As soon as the ball reached Pelé's feet, football became poetry."

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And the importance of Pelé as a world idol was perhaps best reflected when the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, spoke of Pelé's fame.

"You are probably aware of who is here with me. In fact, my name is Ronald Reagan. This gentleman who is here with me is better known to you, I'm sure," Regan said between laughs, welcoming Pelé in the Garden of Rosas from the White House, in 1982. "I don't think there is a better soccer player in the history of this sport who has the record that he has worldwide."

Other players who have spoken about Pelé

"Pelé represents soccer. Since I fell in love with soccer, I have always heard the name of Pelé. For us Brazilians, he is soccer. He is the passion and soccer itself. He represents everything," said the Brazilian soccer player, forward of the PSG, Neymar, in a greeting for Pelé's 80th birthday.

“The greatest footballer in history has been [Alfredo] Di Stéfano.

I refuse to classify Pelé as a footballer.

He was above that, ”said Ferenc Puskás, a former Hungarian soccer player, former Real Madrid player, quoted by FIFA.

“Your Majesty, your Highness.

'Le Roi', 'The King'.

My first video, a VHS that I saw, was of you playing in those World Cups, sending positive messages.

Thank you for sharing that passion," said former Ivorian soccer player Didier Drogba, quoted by FIFA.

"Pelé was the only footballer who exceeded the limits of logic," said Johan Cruyff, a former Dutch footballer.

“Pele was bigger than the pope.

Wherever he went, he aroused enthusiasm like the Beatles.

Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Mick Jagger, Elton John… they were all in awe of Pelé,” said Steve Ross, who helped lead Pelé to the Cosmos, the last team the Brazilian played for.


Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-12-30

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