Pele – just the name – means not only to the football village but also to people who have never watched a football match, even those who used to hate the sport. He is considered the most influential athlete of all time.
Pele became the first global superstar by any measure, by any standard. From trade, media presence or even huge salaries. Three World Cup championships is an unprecedented achievement in history.
The name goes beyond football
“The King of Football” is a role model for the whole world and for the biggest sport. Pele defines this sport and his name is so big that it goes beyond football.
Many people are crazy about Pele. They traveled hundreds of kilometers to watch him practice, let alone compete, with Santos or the Brazilian national team. Pele also gives special meaning to those who have a vague perception of the king sport.
After Pele retired, many players were compared to him. From Zico to Rodney Marsh, Johan Cruyff or Wayne Rooney. Pele is the standard of all standards.
It is no coincidence that Pele became a phenomenon that was sought after by the press at the same time the world was shrinking due to the development of the media. During Pele’s career, television became popular. Starting with Santos in Brazil in 1956 and ending with the New York Cosmos in the US in 1977. During that time, he won three World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
When it comes to football, Pele is often the tie that holds everything together. Maybe not everyone is lucky enough to see the “King of Football” roaming the field, but surely everyone has seen him at some point. Especially at the World Cups, where legends appear, broadcast around the world.
Footage of him is widely broadcast, not only through short 40-second videos like the boom of the Internet. Pele forged her own path and emerged in the budding black and white television age.
Not only what he can do on the pitch, but also his future activities outside of football, his infectious smile and understanding eyes help Pele soon transform from a football superstar to an ambassador, a commercial face. brand. Pele was ahead of the others.
Before David Beckham, Pele pioneered to the US with the mission of turning football, the sport of the future, into the mainstream sport of this country. Like Beckham, if the goal is to turn football into a dominant sport like American football (rugby – PV), then he has failed. But like Beckham, if the goal is to raise awareness and plant a seed that can be harvested years later, he has indeed succeeded.
The standard of greatness
The Brazilian government declared Pele a “national treasure” and no European club could sign him. Pele was recognized as such at the age of 21.
Most fans only see Pele compete in individual tournaments: the World Cup, the friendlies of “Selecao” and Santos, the Intercontinental Cup or the Copa Libertadores. But on those stages, Pele almost always resonates. Even with such glimpses, the world outside of Brazil honored Pele with his outstanding performances.
Materials to create a legendary Pele are not lacking. The goal against Sweden in the 1958 World Cup final, when he caught the ball with his chest, turned, and knocked over a defender’s head before the volley scored. The match against Mexico in 1962, after receiving the ball, Pele accelerated past 6 defenders and then shot dangerously into the far corner. Of course, the header in the 1970 World Cup final against Italy cannot be ignored.
Those moments are etched in many people’s memories when they appear on the biggest stage. For most, sightings of Pele are rare, making his image all the more valuable.
In fact, Pele represents many things. Media gives Pele power. He embraced it and used it as an effective tool to make his name widely known.
Pele was indifferent to politics, at least in public, for most of his life. When the Brazilian government tried to pressure him to retire before the 1974 World Cup, the “King of Football” decided to leave the team to focus on Santos.
Brazil lost to the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the 1974 World Cup. At the age of 33, Pele finished the season as the top scorer in the league. Things could have been different for Brazil if Pele had been in that World Cup. He can win the 4th World Cup and have his 6th appearance at the biggest football festival on the planet. Those are all records. But without that, Pele is already a great name.
Status and charisma make Pele valuable to advertisers and marketers. Many companies and corporations understand this well. That’s why Pele appears in many promotional videos for the world’s biggest brands.
Pele also gave away. He served for more than two decades as an ambassador for the United Nations, leading countless charities and organizations fighting for social change. When it comes to speaking, Pele is no different from a politician. Pele is the type of person that everyone likes, the type of person who says all the right things, goes with the crowd.
Pele continued like this until the last days of his life. He travels the world, spreading whatever message he feels is necessary, sometimes for the values Pele believes in, but most of all to represent himself. That is a huge responsibility.
On the pitch, it actually took 20 years for another legend – Diego Maradona – to emerge. Only Maradona could start the “Greatest Player of All Time” debate with Pele. That says it all. And it was also 25 years later that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo began to be mentioned.
That’s Pele’s legacy. His records can fade over time. But the title “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) will last forever. Pele’s life after retirement is the same. He is the driving force for good things, working hard until the day he takes his last breath.
Talking about Pele is talking about football. But after all this time, his name went far beyond the sport of kings. “Pele is the epitome of greatness,” ESPN concludes.
Xiaofeng | 11:00 30/12/2022