A sense of nostalgia sets in when thinking of Pelé, arguably the best footballer of all times, and the one that gave “Futebol bonito” to Brazil and to the rest of the world. Pelé’s memorable moments include the bicycle kick, winning three world cups for Brazil out of their total of five, and being one of the best ambassadors football could ever want and need. Nostalgia is only present because we can no longer see Pelé play football, now at 71 years of age.
“When football stars disappear, so do the teams, and that is a very curious phenomenon. It is like in the theatre, in a play, where there is a great star. If the star is not well, the whole cast suffers.” – Pelé
Pelé paved the way for other world greats, inspiring the football played by John Cruyff and his Dutch national team, Ronaldo and the great Brazil team he led to victory in 2002, and an endless list of attacking footballers that combined a touch of power, with a whole lot of finesse, unquestionable talent, and desire to become the best.
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pelé
Pelé’s career started on the streets of São Paulo in poverty, where at a young age, Pelé could not afford a football but used socks stuffed with newspapers or grapefruits as replacement. Now the biggest name in the history of football, Pelé began with a promise to his father, at only 9 years of age, that he will win a World Cup for Brazil one day. The influence of street football and futsal are very clear in Pelé’s playing style and what made him different from other footballers. He describes his career as a hard working career, that he wasn’t born the best, that he worked his way into becoming the best.
“I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘born’ football player. Perhaps you are born with certain skills and talents, but quite frankly it seems impossible to me that one is actually born to be an ace football player.” – Pelé
When hearing Pelé talk about his career, one thing is clear above all – he’s grateful for everything football has given him. Often “O Rei” describes football as the source of everything he has and that as he gets older, the desire to give back to the game becomes stronger and stronger.
The Art of Pelé
My life has been covered in books, magazines, newspapers and television more times than I can remember but this is the first time that it has been captured through art.
Art is in my heart. As a sportsman I expressed it on the pitch through the beautiful game, and now with the Art of Pele, I have the opportunity to express myself on canvas.
Under the guidance of South African artist Athol Moult, Pelé has created a unique and colourful collection of 42 original art works. Bold and simple graphics capture the story of his extraordinary rise from selling peanuts on the streets to buy soccer boots, to scoring an incredible 1283 professional goals, 12 of them in World Cup final tournaments.
It’s a fascinating collection of snapshots documenting Pelé illustrious career – and you can see the making of the art below:
From each original piece there are Limited Edition Prints personally signed by Pelé, a highly valued item for the sport memorabilia collector or art enthusiast. There are also high quality prints of each original artwork.
To view the art collection, visit Art of Pelé.