The KING has died
I played high school soccer during the late 1960s and at university in the early 1970s. In the public’s mind, we took a back seat to another major sport played in the Fall. When Pele joined the New York Cosmos in 1975, his presence transformed how soccer was perceived in the USA.
I was lucky to see him in action from time to time at Giants Stadium, playing alongside other international greats like Carlos Alberto and Franz Beckenbauer.
I was also privileged to attend his farewell game on October 1, 1977. On a rainy day before 75,000 fans, including over 700 representatives from press and media, the Cosmos played against Santos. Pele played the first half with the Cosmos (and scored) and the second half with Santos.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Muhammed Ali were two of many celebrities in attendance. At the end of the match Ali embraced Pele and said to him, “Don’t forget, you and I are the two greatest in the whoooole world.” Enough said.