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Book Review: “Pele Why Soccer Matters”

April 23, 2014

“Pele Why Soccer Matters,” is an interesting book that gives the reader good insight into not only an all time great athlete, but also reveals much about World Cup Soccer history.

Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento and named for Thomas Edison (somehow the “i” was omitted in the spelling) is of the old adage “there is no “I” in team.” Maybe the omitted “I” was destined.

He was the consummate team player: an extraordinary goal scorer, but aided by great peripheral vision, an equally great passer and team player.

Moreover, Pele is and has been beyond charitable, patient, outgoing and a promoter of soccer for over five decades.

I knew about and marveled at the 3 World Cup titles for Brazil with Pele.

He led the incredible increase in soccer participation in the United States, when in 1975 he signed to play for the New York Cosmos of The North American Soccer League. He later helped the team win the league title in 1977.

From the book I gained great insight into Brazil’s history and accounts of World Cups played in 1950, 1966 and 1970 among others.

The book, a quick, easy interesting read added nuggets about Pele’s fame, dealing with it, and above all his love for people, starting with his family. “Pele Why Soccer Matters,” is a very good book about an extraordinary person.

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