The GOAT: Pelé

The period between life and death is filled with countless moments and memories. Most get lost in the voluminous noise of everyday minutiae. A select few — the big ones — become part of us.

For me, seeing Pelé on the pitch playing for the New York Cosmos in the late ‘70s is one of those big ones. As a young boy, I didn’t realize how seeing this legend play a sport I had yet to play would influence me. At the time, there were no soccer clubs in my school or town. You played football. The American kind. But watching Pelé sparked in me a love of the sport that, years later, led to Al Bundy greatness in high school, playing against a future three-time World Cup goalie, college recruitment, and many Saturday mornings on the couch watching the Premier League.

Rest in peace, Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

A black and white photograph of soccer great Pelé dribbling past a defender during Malmö-Brazil 1-7 (Pelé scored 2 goals) at Malmö city stadium.

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