Brazilian soccer star, Pele, is proving to be one of the best investments North American soccer ever made.
SV Pele running on to field to cheering crowd PAN TO flashing PELE sign
SV SLOW MOTION Pele in action on field
CU Young fans
GV Midfield play with Pele in centre and goal scored
GV Goal sign
GV Pele sits down on pitch clutching leg
SV Pele walking off pitch surrounded by photographers TILT UP TO waving fans
Soccer ... and Brazilian star Pele is proving to be one of the best investments North American soccer ever made. T.V.N. reporter Norm Hitzges has the story:
TRANSCRIPT: HITZGES: "Since signing a seven-million dollar contract in early June, Pele has been pied-piperine his way through Northern American soccer league cities, showing off his world-renowned talent, and shattering attendance records. Twenty-six thousand plus turned out in Dallas to see the only man who ever scored more than a thousand goals in a career. The "Black Pearl" has notched six goals and seven assists in thirteen games for the Cosmos thus far ... including an assist on New York's first game against the Tornadoes. To the League, Pele's incredible drawing power is just as important as his immense ability. Five of Pele's appearances with New york have been total sell-outs. Ten club attendance records have fallen, including Dallas last night. And, while Pele limped through 72 minutes before aggravating a thigh bruise, and his Cosmos team-mates eventually lost in overtime to the tornadoes, it was another undeniable victory at the turnstile. And, though his dollar and goal totals get most of the notice, Pele's biggest contribution to the North American Soccer League concerns yet another set of figures ... the increased number of fans suddenly turning out for pro soccer games. This is Norm Hitzges reporting."
Initials CL/1642 CL/1654
This film shows Pelein action against the Texan club, Dallas Tornadoes -- against whom the Brazilian made his U.S. debut early last month. A commentary by T.V.N. reporter Norm Hitzges accompanies the film.
REPORTER: NORM HITZGES
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Brazilian soccer star, Pele, is proving to be one of the best investments North American soccer ever made.
The 34-year-old player was lured back into the game earlier this year ... with a contract offered by the New York club, Cosmos, reported to be worth around 7 million U.S. dollars (3.2) million pounds sterling). He played for 18 years with top Brazilian club Sao Paulo Santos before going into retirement last October ... as the only man so far to score more than a thousand goals in his playing career.
Since returning to the field, Pele has scored six more goals for the Cosmos, and is credited with seven assists ... all in thirteen games.
But it's not only his scoring skill that has made Pele into the star of the North American soccer league circuit. The scintillating style he showed to help Brazil win the World Cup in 1958. 1962 and 1970 has fascinated the U.S. fans.
In thirteen games, Pele has drawn enough fans to break ten stadium attendance records ... and five games have been total sell-outs. Until the "Black Pearl" -- as he is fondly known -- stepped onto the U.S. turf, professional soccer in the United States was very much of a minority sport. Today, the North American Soccer League is recognising they have the biggest-ever crowd and dollar-drawer in the history of their sport.