As world champions Brazil prepare for a difficult World Cup defence in West Germany, their world-beating player Pele was still playing Brazilian league football on Sunday (9 June).
GV Crowd wave flags.
GV Santos in all white strip - kicking from left to right. On attack score first goal through Marzinho.
GV Crowd wave flags.
GV Pele takes return pass and shoots goalkeeper saves.
GV Crowd wave and let off fireworks.
GV Atletico attack forward stabs mishit shot into goal.
GV Crowd wave
GV Pele talking to Atletico players.
GV Scoreboard Atletico 1 Santos 1.
GV Second Half Atletico kick off.
GV Atletico push forward and score goal. (3 shots)
GV Scoreboard Atletico 2 Santos 1.
GV Pele exchanges shirt with Atletico player
Initials VS 22.43 VS 23.00
SPORT - FOOTBALL
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Background: As world champions Brazil prepare for a difficult World Cup defence in West Germany, their world-beating player Pele was still playing Brazilian league football on Sunday (9 June).
Pele, who for months has resisted pressure to play in the World Cup from even Brazilian government leaders, appeared for the Sao Paulo league side Santos. He has played for Santos for 19 years but the game may have been his last professional match. Santos lost 2-1 away from home to Belo Horizonte side Atletico Mineiro.
The crowd certainly did not seem to believe it was Pele's last game. His contract does not expire until October 4 but he has been meeting Santos club officials to try to get them to cut it short. Most observers and evidently the Atlatico crowd think it unlikely they will agree.
Pale made the Santos goal which was scored by Marzinho but he was well marked and only rarely able to demonstrate his amazing ability. China and Totonho scored the Atletico goals.
Ironically for Brazilians, Pele will kick off Brazil's first World Cup game against Yugoslavia in Frankfurt on Thursday (13 June) although he will not play. Pele, who is the only player ever to experience three world cup victories, will be honoured in the opening ceremonies as the most dazzling player in history. German footballer Uwe Seeler will be presenting him with a replica of the Jules Rimet trophy.
Pele left for Yugoslavia shortly after the game. He is starting one of his 'Soccer Popularisation' tours there by presenting a trophy to the winning team at a local youth tournament.
On Wednesday (12 June) he flies to Frankful for the opening ceremonies which he describes as the biggest homage ever paid to him.
SYNOPSIS: Pele's contract expires in October, but he is trying to persuade club officials to shorten it. The Atletico crowd clearly thought Pele would be unsuccessful, for there were no last farewells.