Day of mourning
Today is a day of mourning, because with Pelè’s passing, not just a footballer who made football history is missing, but a person who made people all over the world rejoice and have fun. Pele for all those who love this sport, represented the essence of the game, he was the footballer who more than any other made it clear in his way of playing, what joy can be felt in chasing, blocking and kicking a ball.
Pele football genius
This football genius represented for football and sport in general what Leonardo da Vinci represented for science, Michelangelo for sculpture, Einstein for physics, Charlie Chaplin for cinema and Dostoevsky for literature. Bringing Pele together with these characters means being an Immortal, because it will be difficult to repeat what he did on a football field.
He is the only footballer to have won 3 World Cups, the first of which at the age of seventeen, in which he scored a brace in the final. To have scored more than 1200 goals in his career. To be considered the heritage of a state, Brazil, in order not to be sold outside the country, this to allow Brazilian fans to be able to admire it every Sunday in their own country.
The humility of legend
What should also be remembered is the simplicity of this character, which he has demonstrated off the pitch, always made available to everyone. I can personally testify to what happened 19 years ago, when I met him personally in London, on the occasion of a meeting with his agent. As soon as he entered the office where the meeting was taking place, he came towards me to shake my hand with a smile that I have rarely seen in a person, his way of greeting was that of one of the family.
At that moment I realized that he knew what knowing him could mean for another person, that way of greeting with such simplicity and familiarity was a way of not intimidating you and telling you that he was someone like you, simply someone in love with the game of football. The other thing that further amazed me, knowing that I was Italian, he told me to excuse him, if on the occasion of the Italy-Brazil final in 1970 where he scored a great goal, he had caused me displeasure as a fan of the Italian national team.
These excuses were further repeated, when I told him that my idol was Gigi Riva, my favorite team Cagliari, and that in that match, in addition to Riva, three other Cagliari players were playing besides Riva, namely Albertosi, Cera and Domenghini . Later in the evening I was his guest with other people and the way he told and talked about his football history, it was like hearing an old friend of yours telling you his story.
From these little things I realized why he was loved so much all over the world. In fact, in addition to being the greatest on the pitch, he was the greatest footballer off the pitch, for his humanity and simplicity. Because he didn’t forget the fact that he had simply been a footballer, who had been lucky enough to make many people rejoice in all parts of the world and considered himself after all a normal and lucky person, to whom God had given an immeasurable talent and that he had placed at the service of humanity.
Rest in peace O REY.