Pelé radiated the quality of joy: an instant appeal to the eye and heart | Richard Williams

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The first global football superstar made everyone smile and his tricks were never designed to diminish his opponents

For the generation born just after the end of the second world war, the emergence of the teenaged Pelé during the 1958 World Cup opened a door to a new dimension of football. The brief televised highlights of the matches in Sweden were broadcast in a black and white that was actually more like blurred shades of grey but already the Brazilian prodigy seemed to be sharply focused and bathed in a golden glow.

The skinny 17-year-old with the flat-top haircut scored six goals, several of them executed with an impudent wit and a hitherto unimaginable level of technique, and then wept openly on the shoulder of Gilmar, the team’s goalkeeper, when the triumph was secured. For many of his new fans in foreign lands, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was the first complicated foreign name they committed to memory.

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Written by Richard Williams
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2022/dec/29/pele-radiated-the-quality-of-joy-an-instant-appeal-to-the-eye-and-heart-brazil under the title “Pelé radiated the quality of joy: an instant appeal to the eye and heart | Richard Williams”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.