Catching up with the God of football
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.