11 days after Leo Messi won the World Cup and officially and definitively entered the list of the greatest of world football - those who were not only huge players but were also world champions - we say goodbye to Pele.
The founding father.
There were great players before Pele, but he was the first giant.
The first global superstar.
The man who put Brazilian football on the map already when he was 17 years old, with a brace in the 1958 World Cup final.
The debates and discussions about "who is the greatest of all", Messi, Maradona or Pele, are unnecessary.
Each of them was the greatest in his time.
And the football of the 60s is not like the football of the 80s.
And certainly not for his kind, these are the days of Messi.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento was the first black superstar of world football, and that was no simple matter in the 1950s and 1960s.
Admiration for him all over the world knew no bounds.
And if there is someone who made the brands "Brazilian football" and "Brazilian national team" the strongest in world sports - it is mainly thanks to him.
a true superstar,
Despite the crazy adoration he won during his lifetime, when he received the almost official title of "O Rey" ("The King") in Brazil, in the end Pele was a simple guy from a small town called Tres Corsowash (3 Hearts) in the province of Minas Gerais, who grew up in a poor family, With a father who was a failed footballer.
In the summer of 1992, the day before the European Championship final, I had the opportunity to meet Pele and interview him.
Before the interview started, I managed to have a small talk with him for a few minutes.
In that few minutes, he was revealed as a smiling, pleasant guy, who has no problem talking to a young Israeli journalist about his childhood days, about his family.
He didn't act like a superstar, but like a human being.
And I will never forget that.
Like Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona who passed away in recent years, Pele will remain with us forever.
The memories he left for everyone who saw him in action, even if it was decades ago, will never be forgotten.
Pele the human is dead - but Pele's legend will live on forever.
Hello, legend, photo: AP
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