Pelé featured on The Talks
Ahead of a film about the sports star's life
Ahead of the release of a biopic about his career, The Talks – a weekly updated online interview magazine profiling the leading creative voices of our times – has interviewed retired Brazilian footballing legend legend Pelé.
The article covers Pelé's confidence in his talent, his favourite player today, his hopes for Brazil in next year's world cup and how he thinks the game has changed... But for now, here are Buro 24/7's interview highlights.
"Pelé, when you are the best at something how hard is it not to get arrogant about it?
I used to tease the other kids because I played better than them. Then my father said, "Come here. Don't do this with the kids, because God gave you the gift to play football. You didn't do anything. This was a present from God. You have to respect people, because it is important to be a good man, a good person. From now on, you must be this example."
Did you ever feel like your abilities were super-human?
No, we are all human beings. I have to trust something that gives me power, I have to believe in something, but in my career I have a lot of moments I cannot explain with God. We went to Africa and we stopped the war in Africa because the people went to see Pelé play. They stopped the war. Just God can't explain that. I don't know why - it is impossible to know why - but they stopped the war. When we finished the game and we left they continue to fight.
Did you always know that you were meant to achieve big things?
The first World Cup I remember was in the 1950 when I was 9 or 10 years old. My father was a soccer player and there was a big party and when Brazil lost to Uruguay, I saw my father crying. I was with all the kids and I said, "Why are you crying?" My father said, "Brazil lost the World Cup." Then I made a joke and told him, "Don't cry, don't cry, I'm going to win the World Cup for you." Eight years later, in 1958, I was playing for Brazil when we won the World Cup in Sweden.
Did you realise what kind of an impact this victory would have on Brazil?
At that time nobody had Brazil on the map and suddenly Brazil became a huge football nation. I was very proud because I made Brazil well known all over the world. Now with the new technology, the boys score, run behind the goal and say, "Mommy, I love you," into the cameras and the whole world can see it. In my time, I think maybe my father saw and maybe he knew we won, but at that time we didn't have TV, we didn't have that kind of communication. The game was finished that night and the next day we had to go on the radio in Sweden to talk on the radio in Brazil and say, "Mommy, we won." You see the difference in the life we have now. I'm never going to forget that.
Do you think the Brazilian team will win the World Cup on home soil next year?
It's a game so it's difficult to say, but I have no doubt that Brazil has the best players. Unfortunately we were with Mano Menezes who was the trainer for two and a half years.
Do we have a Pelé nowadays?
New Pelé? There is never going to be a new Pelé because my father and my mother closed the machine. (Laughs)"
Via The Talks