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Pele: The Brazilian champion

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Pelé, byname of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, (born October 23, 1940, Três Corações, Brazil), Brazilian football (soccer) player, in his time probably the most famous and possibly the best-paid athlete in the world. He was part of the Brazilian national teams that won three World Cup championships (1958, 1962, and 1970).

After playing for a minor league club at Bauru, São Paulo state, Pelé (whose nickname apparently is without significance) was rejected by major club teams in the city of São Paulo. In 1956, however, he joined the Santos Football Club, which, with Pelé at inside left forward, won nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, both the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup. Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), he became a Brazilian national hero. He combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government in order to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil. On November 20, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and the following year played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden. The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. When Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist. He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament. Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title. Rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for both Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play. Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career having scored 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a star around the world. His team Santos toured internationally in order to take full advantage of his popularity. In 1967 he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.
Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but in 1975 agreed to a three-year, $7-million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honour in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In addition to his accomplishments in sports, he published several best-selling autobiographies and starred in several successful documentary and semi-documentary films. He also composed numerous musical pieces, including the soundtrack for the film Pelé (1977).

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Football

If you want to win trophies, Leave Tottenham, Ibrahimovic tells Harry Kane

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Former Manchester United striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told Tottenham Hotspur star, Harry Kane to leave Spurs, which according to him is a normal club, if he want to win trophies.

Kane, who is currently sidelined due to injury, is expected to return to training in March.

The 25-year-old injured his ankle ligaments at the end of Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in a Premier League encounter last week after a collision with Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof.

Ibrahimovic, who has represented the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Inter Milan, believes the time has come for Kane to leave Tottenham in pursuit of silverware.

“When I was in England, I saw him [Kane] play, I think he is a good striker,” the La Galaxy striker told Bethard.

“He’s still developing, he’s doing good things. But I always say, playing in a big club, performing good is different from playing in – with all due respect to Tottenham – a ‘normal’ club.

“Performing there is a different situation, because I saw players do the same thing, but when they go to a big club something is different.

“I think he can make it. He just needs to make the move and people will remember you for what you win and. In the end, he needs to win.

“If he wants to win, I think he needs to change. I think Tottenham has a great team but they’re not at the level to win everything, even if they’ve got a fantastic coach.”

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Barcelona

New Barcelona signing, Boateng to wear No 19

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The 31-year-old Ghanian Star, kevin-Prince Boateng has been reported to have accepted to waer the number 19 shirt previously worn by El Haddadi, Lucas Digne and Sandro Ramirez, uniquesports reports.

Boateng completed a €2million move to Barcelona from Serie A side, Sassuolo, on Monday and was unveiled on Tuesday at the Camp Nou.

The deal includes an €8million option for Barcelona to buy the former Tottenham and Portsmouth star if he impresses.

Boateng will stay in Spain until the end of the season.

Speaking after his unveiling, Boateng told reporters: “It’s a big dream come true. It’s a big honour for me to be here.”

Boateng will hope to feature for Barcelona when they tackle Girona on Sunday in the La Liga fixture.

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Football

Sala’s father, mother cries out over missing Cardiff striker

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Cardiff City striker, Emiliano Sala’s mother and father have confirmed that their son was on board a plane that went missing from the English Channel on Monday night.

Sala was on the light aircraft that disappeared from radar on Monday night while apparently flying from Nantes to Cardiff.

The 28-year-old was announced as a new signing for Premier League club Cardiff City on Saturday, signing a three-and-a-half year deal, for a club record fee believed to be around £10 million.

Sala’s father, Horatio, told Argentine TV station Channel 5 News on Tuesday: “A friend told me the situation of my son, I did not know anything, I’m in Rosario, I’m desperate, I hope everything goes well.”

His mother, Mercedes, added: “The plane is from the President of Cardiff City FC, they informed us that the plane had disappeared and that they were looking for it.”

Meanwhile, Cardiff City chairman, Mehmet Dalman said in a statement on Tuesday through the club’s official website that the light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night.

Dalman said: “We are very concerned by the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night.

“We are very concerned about the safety of Emiliano Sala.

“We are awaiting confirmation before we can say anything further.”

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