Catch­ing up with the God of foot­ball

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - SA­MARTH GOYAL

Even at the age of 75, with a walk­ing stick in his hand, leg­endary Brazil­ian foot­baller Pele at­tracts so much at­ten­tion that a reign­ing Bol­ly­wood star may be left feel­ing jeal­ous.

In fact, Pele has a fan in ex-cricketer Kapil Dev, who he met in the Cap­i­tal on Thurs­day. The two leg­ends sat to­gether and dis­cussed the two big­gest sports of the world that each of them rep­re­sent. While Kapil gave an au­to­graphed bat to Pele, he re­cip­ro­cated the ges­ture with an au­to­graphed foot­ball. “I wrote for the world’s great­est foot­baller ... I be­lieve that you have been the best player of the game,” Kapil quipped as he gave him the bat.

Pele, who is on his sec­ond visit to In­dia, even ad­dressed a packed press con­fer­ence in the Cap­i­tal. The con­fer­ence opened with a dik­tat from the or­gan­is­ers say­ing, “Pele will not an­swer any ques­tions about FIFA.” How­ever, Pele in­ter­vened and said, “Wait a minute. This is a democ­racy right? So we are free to ask ques­tions and an­swer them.” His ges­ture drew im­me­di­ate ap­plause from the crowd, and one of the great­est foot­ballers of all times, went on to an­swer all kinds of ques­tions.

And while a lot of the ques­tions cen­tered around the game of foot­ball, Pele

I wrote for the world’s great­est foot­baller ... I be­lieve that you have been the best player of the game Kapil Dev, ex-cricketer

also shared anec­dotes from his child­hood. “I was 10 years old when Brazil lost the World Cup fi­nal to Uruguay 2-1 in 1950. My fa­ther was cry­ing, and so was the en­tire coun­try of Brazil. I went to him and told him that I will win the World Cup for you one day,” he shared. Eight years later, 17-year-old Pele kept his prom­ise and played for the side that won the foot­ball World Cup in 1958.

Keen to meet foot­ball lovers of the coun­try, the foot­baller also took up an of­fer to meet and greet foot­ball fans of the Cap­i­tal, and spend some time with a lucky few.

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