On Saturday, October 1st, the great Brazilian football star, Pele, is due to play his last professional game.
On Saturday, October 1st, the great Brazilian football star, Pele, is due to play his last professional game. His present club, New York Cosmos, is playing Santos of Brazil -- the club with which Pele spent almost his entire career, and rose to become the most famous player in the world.
SYNOPSIS: Pele -- those real name is Edson Arantes Do Nascimento -- joined Santos in 1956, when he was a boy of 16. Within two years, he had burst on to the international scene. His ability to create and score goals helped to put Brazil at the top of the world's footballing countries.
Apparently just one more penalty, in a match against another Brazilian side. But the crowd went wild with delight, for it was Pele's 1,000th goal, which he scored in 1969.
The World Cup Final in Mexico in 1970. Pele scored two of the four goals with which Brazil beat Italy. It was the third time he had helped Brazil win the World Cup.
It is the combination of skill, power, speed and tactical brilliance that put Pele in a class of his own. In 1971, when he had just turned 30, he decided to retire from the international field. After his last match for Brazil, against yugoslavia, the crowd surged round him, shouting "Stay, stay'. But Pele was adamant. He said he wanted to go at the peak of his career. He went on playing for Santos for three more years, and then announced that he would retire altogether.
By then, the boy from a poor family in central Brazil had become a rich man. His football earning has been invested in Brazilian business enterprises. But his exceptional ability to pull in the crowds made him a valuable asset to football promoters. Within eight months of his retirement, he was tempted back to play in the United States. He signed a multi-million dollar contract to play for three years for Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.
Now his third season is about to finish; and with it, the chance for football fans to see those quick reactions and incomparable skills. For more than 20 years, packed stadia in many countries have resounded to the chant: "Pele, Pele, Pele " A football era is coming to an end.