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Opinion – Tostão: Pelé loved being Pelé


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Pelé, symbol of football, will always be present. As someone has already said, the symbol is the presence of absence. Mestre Armando Nogueira said that if Pelé had not been born a man, he would have been born a ball. The greatest poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, said that the difficult thing is not to score a thousand goals like Pelé, but to score a goal like him.

José Miguel Wisnik, in the book “Veneno Remédio”, wrote: “Pelé seems to work with a different frequency than the other players, as if he had more time to think and see what is going on, watching, in slow motion, the same game in which he is participating, at very high speed, while others around him seem to be so many times watching a game at very high speed and playing in slow motion”.

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Pelé had what neurologists call kinesthetic intelligence, the ability, in a fraction of a second, to map everything around him and calculate the speed of the ball, teammates and opponents. In addition, Pelé had an eyeball that protruded outward, which increased his peripheral vision. He saw more than the others.

Pelé, before matches, used to lie down and close his eyes. We didn’t know if he slept and dreamed of the beautiful goals he would score. No one could disturb him, wake him up.

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I only saw Pelé sad once, along with all the other players, on the way back by bus from Liverpool to London, where we would take the plane back to Brazil, after being eliminated in the group stage in the 1966 World Cup. overall a disappointment. Four years later, we were celebrating the world title, in the locker room of the Azteca stadium, in Mexico.

The human being has a dependence on the look and approval of the other. Fame heightens this tension. Unlike the absolute majority of celebrities, who often live in conflict between the creator and the creature, Pelé and Edson seemed to be a single person. Pele loved being Pele.

Life goes on

It was the last day of the year. The young player Carlos Osório, fictional and real character, who, in the past, would be called Cacá, aged 35, had just announced the end of his career, after playing for about 15 years in several clubs in Série A of the Brasileirão. He was a good player, without ever being a star. The last straw for the farewell was what he heard, in a sports debate, that he was a former player in activity.

Carlos Osório arrived home tense, sad, nauseous, with an enormous emptiness. He thought it must be the deep sadness that poets talk about. He didn’t know what to do with his life. He wasn’t prepared for that day. He didn’t know how to do another activity, he hadn’t studied or taken the CBF coach course, which is very expensive.

Carlos Osório had earned a reasonable amount of money to buy the apartment where he lived and to save some savings, but he soon realized that, without work, the money would run out quickly. The wife spent all her time taking care of the house and two children. Carlos Osório, in his spare time, between training sessions and a game, was involved with his cell phone and reading celebrity magazines.

He recalled that some former players liked to go to a bar, where they drank and told stories about football’s past, sometimes invented and/or distorted. She didn’t want to be like them. She looked in the mirror and cried. She drank and slept. He woke up excited. A new year began. He remembered his projects. Life went on.

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