THREE AT THE BACK: Poetry in Motion; Pele Was to Brazilian Football What Shakespeare Was to English Literature

Article excerpt

IF ever a team got near to football purity it was the Brazilias of 1970.

Littered with superstars - Rivelino, Tostao, Jairzinho and Gerson - they captured the hearts of the world.

And then, of course, there was Pele..

In 1940, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) was born into a poor family in Tres Coracoes. His father Dondinho's own career as a useful player in the 1940s had been cut short by injury.

And it soon became clear that Pele had inherited all of his father's ability and more. His exploits with his local club Baurau soon earned him a transfer to Santos who were then the giants of Brazilian football.

Pele did not take long to make an impression at his new club and by the time he was 16 he had played for Brazil.

By the age of 17 he had won the World Cup.

The 1958 tournament in Sweden marked the arrival of Pele on the world stage and was the start of his love affair with the tournament culminating in that famous 1970 triumph.

Brazil and Pele won the World Cup again in 1962 but the player's finest hour was to come eight years later in Mexico City. …