New York (WABC) — as rumors spread Football legend Pele diesfans flocked to Times Square’s Peresto store for a growing tribute to the man who changed sports around the world.
“Pele means everything to Brazil. He is our history. He is our history. He brought the name of Brazil to the world,” said Lucas Strabco.
The emotional response of the greatest player to ever play the sport will tell you everything you need to know about his impact.
“I’m from Brazil. I’m sad. We’ve lost our biggest idol. The greatest man in our history is Pele. And I’m in New York today. Times Square is the world’s most It’s so crazy to see it being such an important place, and you can see Pele’s name,” Strabko added.
Pele is a record three-time World Cup winner and the most transformative footballer in the world.
In a 1983 Eyewitness News interview with “Tiempo”, he said that his mother did not want him to play football because his father was injured while playing the sport.
Born in Brazil in 1940, he grew up in poverty and kicked rolled up socks stuffed with rags.
At the age of 15, the coach persuaded his parents to let him join the professional team. In 1958, at age 17, he became the youngest player to appear in a World Cup final, scoring twice as Brazil defeated Sweden. This was the first of his three world titles he helped to win for his home country.
Pele mesmerized the crowd with his brilliant footwork and ability to score goals at will. In the 1960s, Pele was one of the world’s most famous and highly paid athletes.
In 1967 he had the power to bring peace. He and his team traveled to Nigeria to call on the warring factions for his 48-hour ceasefire during the civil war.
“The war stopped because people were into football. They loved football and they stopped the war to see Santos play in Africa. It’s great. It’s inexplicable.” Pele said in an interview.
Pele retired in 1974, but was invited to the United States to play for the New York Cosmos.
Former New York Cosmos player Tony Picciano played with Pele in 1975. He retired from coaching in his 2020 and now lives on Long Island. His friend and teammate, he says, was a mentor to him and many others.
“He was an acorn. We put it in the dirt and he grew us like oak trees and that’s what happened. Slowly things grew, but he was very good with certain players.” “It was going well. It was very good. He really coached some young players,” said Picciano.
The New York Cosmos released a lengthy statement that reads in part.
“Pele’s name will forever be synonymous with sporting artistry and genius. His lasting impact on the sport of football is immeasurable.”
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https://abc7ny.com/pele-death-soccer-brazil/12629194/ Fans pay tribute to football legends at Pele store in Times Square