‘Pele was the gift that was given to mankind by the Gods of football’

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By Avenash Ramzan

avenash@newsroom.gy  

“A gift that was given to mankind by the Gods of football.”

That’s how President of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, summed up the life of Brazilian football legend, Pele.

Widely considered as the greatest to have ever played the game, Pele passed away on December 29 after suffering with kidney and prostate problems in recent years.

He was 82.

“It is quite possibly one of the greatest losses that we have experienced as a sport,” Forde told News Room Sport.

“Pele was an iconic figure in the world of football, not just his ability to play the game with a level of class and skill that almost no one can match, but the role that he played as an influential global ambassador of the game. There was so much grace and professionalism in the manner in which he conducted himself.”

“The fact that he was able to lift the game itself to different heights- many of the skills and the qualities that we see in the modern players right now was displayed by Pele so many decades ago. He remains the benchmark for what it means to be a talented and gifted player.”

Pele celebrates winning the 1970 World Cup (Photo: Skysports)

The local football boss believes Pele was the “driving and inspiring force” that kept the “Brazilian football factory producing great players well after his playing days would have been over.”

“He is loved by everyone,” Forde opined.

“It’s hard to encounter anyone that is going to have an ill word to speak about Pele and his contribution to the beautiful game.”

Pele had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon in September 2021 at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, after the tumour was detected in routine tests.

He was readmitted to hospital in late November 2022.

One of the game’s first global personalities, Pele scored a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 games

“A man of firsts”

The Guyana Football Federation, in a tribute, labelled Pele “a man of firsts”, one who was a leader, legend and global ambassador.

“Pele’s impact on football throughout the world is witnessed by the outpouring of love since the announcement of his death,” the Federation said.

“A legend, a leader and a global ambassador, he was a man of firsts – the only player to win the FIFA World Cup three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970; the youngest player at a World Cup and Brazil’s joint top scorer with 77 goals.”

“The football giant’s visit to Guyana in 2009 inspired a new generation of players. The stories told of the former Santos and New York Cosmos striker’s during his 20-year career will continue to influence future generations.”

Pele is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career.

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