Obrigado e Feliz Aniversário Pelé

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Obrigado e Feliz Aniversário Pelé
Feliz Aniversário Pelé (Photo supplied by the NY Cosmos Organization)

"Pelé is one of the few who contradicted my theory: instead of fifteen minutes of fame, he will have fifteen centuries." — Andy Warhol

Recognized by the world as Pelé, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in Três Corações, Brazil on October 23, 1940. Tomorrow, the greatest Soccer Ambassador The Beautiful Game has ever produced is turning 70 years old.

Playing for Santos F.C., the Brazilian National Team, and the New York Cosmos, Pelé has brought smiles and memories to millions and millions of soccer fans worldwide. Being a three-time World Cup Champion who scored an astronomical 1283 career goals, Pelé has given journalists and fans alike a lot to write and talk about.

On October 1, 1977, playing his final game in a friendly between the Cosmos and Santos FC at Giants Stadium, Pelé asked the world to watch over the children. At the time of his request, this writer was one year old and one of the children Pelé asked the world to take care off as they witnessed his final game.

My parents being young and clueless first-time parents took Pelé's advice to heart and implemented it in the way I was raised. Along with their nurturing and guidance, they would slyly make a reference to Pelé to the point where I was fascinated about learning about him.

Now grown up, I'm faced with a series of questions. What do I write about a Legend who I've never witnessed playing live or even met? What else is there to cover that hasn't already been written about him?

I don't... the only thing I will say is "Obrigado e Feliz Aniversario Pelé!"

Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports. Please email him your questions and comments to cesar@latinosports.com

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