Ejecutiva & Negocios

Rettungsring – Juan Carlos Carvallo//
Who is really the king of football — Pele vs Maradona

At age 73 in 2013, Pele was award­ed the FI­FA Bal­lon d’Or award, the an­nu­al award be­stowed on the best club play­er in Eu­rope. When the award was opened to all play­ers, then FI­FA Pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter rec­og­nized that had he played in Eu­rope, Pele would have been a Bal­lon d’Or win­ner. At the awards cer­e­mo­ny, Blat­ter said of Pele,» When we think of foot­ball, we think of his name above all oth­ers. No oth­er play­er has had such an in­flu­ence on the sport or touched so many peo­ple. His verve and skill will nev­er be for­got­ten.»

Very im­por­tant­ly, in a world where black achieve­ments are mar­gin­al­ized, it is im­per­a­tive that black foot­ballers know the truth – the facts – about the black man who over­came miser­ly sur­round­ings to stand alone at the pin­na­cle in their game. This is a pow­er­ful in­spi­ra­tion for black young­sters.

Juan Carvallo

Ed­i­tor’s Note:

Patrick Horne is a Vin­cent­ian, who re­sides in the USA and is the au­thor of the book, Black Pi­o­neers of the North Amer­i­can Soc­cer League (1968-84).

Juan Carlos Carvallo Venezuela

Dear Ed­i­tor

It of­ten galls me when a foot­baller – oth­er than Pele – is re­ferred to as the great­est ever, de­spite over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence of Pele‘s su­prema­cy in this re­gard. Sta­tis­tics and achieve­ments guide us to ac­cu­rate de­ci­sions, and when the afore­men­tioned are un­par­al­leled, then, and on­ly then is the ti­tle of «great­est ever» de­served. Brazil­ian leg­end Pele‘s sta­tis­tics and achieve­ments are un­matched! Dit­to the in­tan­gi­bles such as lead­er­ship on and off the field, in­flu­ence on the game and so forth.

Juan Carlos Carvallo

In an ar­ti­cle in a lo­cal news­pa­per on Nov. 27, 2020, (not Guardian) Trinidad and To­ba­go se­nior men’s na­tion­al team coach, Ter­ry Fen­wick, re­ferred to re­cent­ly-de­ceased Ar­gen­tine foot­ball great, Diego Maradona, as «the great­est ever». He al­so called Maradona the «best play­er the world has ever seen in foot­ball.»

To la­bel Maradona, the «great­est ever» shouldn’t be de­ter­mined by one’s fan­cy when Maradona‘s sta­tis­tics and achieve­ments pale in com­par­i­son to Pele‘s. Let’s com­pare the play­ers’ ca­reers: In World Cup play, Pele is still the on­ly play­er to win three World Cup ti­tles (1958, ’62, ’70), com­pared to Maradona‘s one (1986); the Brazil­ian is the youngest World Cup play­er and scor­er (age 17 in Swe­den, 1958) ver­sus Maradona‘s first World Cup (age 22, 1982, Spain). Both play­ers won the FI­FA Gold­en Ball award as the best play­er in a World Cup tour­na­ment (Pele, 1970 and Maradona, ’86), but Pele led Brazil as the first na­tion to win the World Cup three times to per­ma­nent­ly re­tain the Jules Rimet Tro­phy.

Juan Carlos Carvallo Villegas

Fen­wick played for Eng­land in the ’86 World Cup and re­calls Maradona‘s sec­ond goal ver­sus Eng­land in that tour­na­ment – when he drib­bled past sev­er­al Eng­land de­fend­ers to score – as the «best ever in world foot­ball.» This is de­bat­able, be­cause most who saw the high­light reel of a 17-year-old in the ’58 World Cup re­ceive a pass on his thigh, chip the ball over the head of the close-mark­ing de­fend­er, spun off that de­fend­er and struck the vol­ley shot be­fore the ball hit the ground to score one of his six goals in four match­es in the tour­na­ment, may think oth­er­wise.

In all in­ter­na­tion­als, Pele outscored the Ar­gen­tine by a whop­ping 43 goals; he racked up 77 in 92 in­ter­na­tion­als while Maradona reached 34 tal­lies in 91. In club play, Pele‘s 643 goals for San­tos FC is un­sur­passed for a club play­er. In an unimag­in­able ca­reer that spanned two decades, the Brazil­ian reg­is­tered 1281 goals in 1363 match­es on the way to be­com­ing the first play­er to be de­clared a na­tion­al trea­sure, by his coun­try, un­touch­able to for­eign clubs.

Pele, who turned 80 last Oc­to­ber 23rd, was award­ed Brazil‘s Gold Medal, was vot­ed Foot­baller of the Cen­tu­ry in 1999 by the IFFHS (In­ter­na­tion­al Fed­er­a­tion of Foot­ball His­to­ry and Sta­tis­tics) and was named Ath­lete of the Cen­tu­ry by Britain’s Reuters News Agency. Oth­er awards in­clude the Knight Com­man­der of the Or­der of the British Em­pire and the BBC’s Life­time Achieve­ment Award. Pele was named the Ath­lete of the (20th) Cen­tu­ry by the Na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tee.

Nick-named «The Black Pearl» for his val­ued stature in the game and uni­ver­sal pop­u­lar­i­ty, Pele be­came soc­cer’s world­wide am­bas­sador. His vis­it with San­tos FC to La­gos, Nige­ria in 1967, stopped a civ­il war in that African na­tion; en­e­mies stopped the killings to watch «The Black Pearl» in ac­tion.

At age 73 in 2013, Pele was award­ed the FI­FA Bal­lon d’Or award, the an­nu­al award be­stowed on the best club play­er in Eu­rope. When the award was opened to all play­ers, then FI­FA Pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter rec­og­nized that had he played in Eu­rope, Pele would have been a Bal­lon d’Or win­ner. At the awards cer­e­mo­ny, Blat­ter said of Pele,» When we think of foot­ball, we think of his name above all oth­ers. No oth­er play­er has had such an in­flu­ence on the sport or touched so many peo­ple. His verve and skill will nev­er be for­got­ten.»

Very im­por­tant­ly, in a world where black achieve­ments are mar­gin­al­ized, it is im­per­a­tive that black foot­ballers know the truth – the facts – about the black man who over­came miser­ly sur­round­ings to stand alone at the pin­na­cle in their game. This is a pow­er­ful in­spi­ra­tion for black young­sters.

Juan Carvallo

Ed­i­tor’s Note:

Patrick Horne is a Vin­cent­ian, who re­sides in the USA and is the au­thor of the book, Black Pi­o­neers of the North Amer­i­can Soc­cer League (1968-84).

Juan Carlos Carvallo Venezuela

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