Find out how you can meet Pele! We remember his top five moments
The greatest footballer of all time will hold a very special ‘audience with’ on March 16, and you can be there.
Brazilian superstar Pele will be at Emirates HQ in Garhoud to reflect on some his proudest moments through a career that saw him win three World Cups and win countless individual and team accolades (Scroll down for our own special tribute).
The event is available to a select few who will be personally invited. However, Emirates are running a competition to giveaway the ‘Ultimate Pele Experience’, which includes a seat in the crowd. Check out their Facebook page for more.
“This will be the first event of its kind in Dubai with such a global footballing icon,” said a spokesman for Emirates. “To have Pele personally talking through these historic video clips will provide a beautiful moment in the beautiful game for those present, and for the millions of passengers who will be able to see the programme on our award-winning ice entertainment system.”
The 73-year-old, who earlier this year was named as the airline’s Global Ambassador, is in town at the same as the New York Cosmos, of which the Samba star is Honorary President having played for the side during his heyday.
Fans of the Cosmos will be able to see the team in action over the current two-week period as they embark on a pre-season tour of the region, including matches against Al Wasl at Zabeel Stadium on Tuesday, March 11.
At his last appearance in Dubai, when his partnership with Emirates was announced, Pele spoke glowingly of the city which he first visited in 1973 as part of a tour of the region with his then team, Santos.
He said: “Dubai has made a name for itself on the international stage. It has changed so much from when I first visited in the 1970s. I see a thriving city with great infrastructure for tourism and business, capable welcoming the world and connecting with the world. My wish is that the World Cup will help unleash and showcase this same potential in Brazil.”
OUR OWN TOP FIVE PELE MOMENTS
ESCAPE TO VICTORY
In the classic 1981 tale about Allied prisoners of war in a German prison camp, Pele secured victory – and escape – in a match against guards with this sumptuous acrobatic effort in the film’s finale.
THE GREATEST EVER SAVE
He didn’t miss many chances, did Pele, but when he did it was invariably due to the brilliance of the goalkeeper more than it was the forward’s own fallibility. None more so Gordon Banks’ amazing save in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico from a towering header. It is, quite simply, the greatest save ever made.
ONE GOAL, ONE ASSIST
Pele had already bagged football’s greatest prize twice – in 1958 and 1962 – when Brazil took on Italy on the 1970 showpiece. But his appetite and ability remained as strong as ever, as he opened the scoring and then later laid on an inch perfect pass in the penultimate play of quite possibly the best team goal ever scored in a World Cup final.
AGE AIN’T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER
You knew he was going to be special from the moment he burst onto the World Cup scene in 1958, with an exquisitely taken goal against Sweden. The control, the cute chip, and the unnerving volleyed finish make it one the finals’ most memorable. That Pele was just 17 at the time simply highlights his incredible talent.
TOO GOOD FOR HIS OWN GOOD
As audacity goes, the total fake play at the ball agains Uruguay goes down in history, it’s just a shame he couldn’t quite convert the chance.