OTB's Johnny Ward was joined by the Irish Independent football writer Dan McDonnell, former Republic of Ireland international Simon Cox and LOI legend Stuey Byrne on Football Saturday where they discussed Brazilian legend Pelé’s passing and his impact on the global game.
Football icon Pelé passed away on Thursday at the age of 82, spurring waves of tributes to flood in from every corner of the earth, including from OTB’s Football Saturday panel this afternoon.
“He was the one who done it first” in so many facets of the definition as Simon Cox outlined, cementing himself as a recognisable figure all over the planet, winning three World Cups and with a book full of stats to his legacy, what he leaves behind most was his ability “to bring the World through football.”
“You can count on your hand probably the people who have passed who you feel they get greater in death, and believe or not, yeah, his legacy will get even greater” says Stuey Byrne.
“I don't think we'll miss Pelé because I think he'll always be there. Diego Maradona is another one, you know Prince, David Bowie etc. These people live on and they get greater in death because of how talented they were, because of the legacy they have left behind” he continued.
“He's a God to the people of Brazil and he's immortalised.”
The 1970 World Cup the standout memory for many, DanMcDonnell further pointed out the greatness of the Santos FC star in action there.
“Brazil hadn't won the world cup until Pelé came along, like you sort of think of Brazil as a as a World Cup winner but like, they didn't do it until he came along” he says.
“Pelé went from that and this country who like people were questioning, will they be able to win this thing, to suddenly been involved and three and four.”
Such an ethereal feeling around a player can rarely be pinpointed to figures in today’s game McDonnell added, pinpointing that “we see all the players so regularly and a lot of them in two or more leagues over their career that basically you don't have that sort of magic aura that people talk about with Pelé at the 70 World Cup.”
He came to Dalymount in 72 to play and there was this sort of wow, magic and aura about him, whereas now a lot of people can probably go over and watch Haaland if they want to, you know a Man City tickets aren’t that hard to get.”
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