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Review: Pelé: The King of Soccer

Spending a part of my childhood in Trinidad and Tobago, there were two sports that everybody there was crazy about, football (soccer) and cricket. My dad tried to teach me cricket, but I never quite caught on, like I did with baseball. The other sport, was bit more my speed, fast paced, using your whole body, football or soccer, depending on what part of the world you live in, was rabid on the island. There were some soccer stars names that got thrown around then, especially during the World Cup, but one name remained synonymous with the game, Pele.

I remember kids in Trinidad wearing his jersey or wearing t-shirt versions of his jersey, even though Trinidad had their own team, it did not keep everyone from cheering for Brazil. The funny thing is Pele played his last game in 1977 and they were still talking about him in 1986. I even remember watching the movie Hotshot, where he played a meta version of himself, and thinking how he was the best football (soccer) player of all time. In Eddy Simon and Vincent Brascalgia’s Pelé: King Of Soccer, readers gets to know not only the player but the man.

In the opening pages, we see how fast he caught on to the game and before his head got too big, how his father got him focused on what mattered most. We get to see him hone his game and at the age of 25, becomes a professional player.  We get to see how he brought his country together across, racial, class and political lines, as his talent made him a world star and made world take notice of Brazil as a country, By book’s end, we see him in his role as world ambassador,  fighting corruption in soccer, human rights and wherever he can represent Brazilian soccer.

Overall, an excellent book, which serves as a primer for anyone wanting to know about Soccer’s biggest star. The story by Simon is entertaining and at certain points, spell binding. The art by Brascalgia is luminous ad vibrant. Overall, a great biography that will give the reader a comprehensive portrait of the man, the myth and the legend.

Story: Eddy Simon Art: Vincent Brascalgia
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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