World Cup Victory, 1970 by Pele
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World Cup Final, 1970 by Pele
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Pele & Moore (Bobby Moore) by Pele
Pele & Ali (Muhammad Ali) by Pele
There’s no doubting the far-reaching influence Pele had on the game of football, globally and the generation-spanning impression he left as his legacy. Pele, arguably, paved the way for other world greats who have followed in his footsteps, emerging from all four corners of the globe, including the equally revered likes of Maradona, Puskas, Eusabio, Cruyff, Platini, Beckenbauer, Best, di Stefano, et al. Pele was indeed a showman, with the stadiums of the world being his ever-changing stages, with others being – respectfully – bit players in the Pele Show which went on tour through the late 1950s and the entire decade which followed, up to and including the 1970 World Cup Finals. The third time in which Pele successfully led his Brazilian countrymen to the biggest prize in global soccer.

Bursting onto the Brazilian domestic football scene as an exciting, dynamic 15-year old playing in the colours of one of South America’s most recognisable teams, Santos, Pele was soon making his indelible mark and impact in bigger theatres across the globe, and having football fans eat out of his hands as they queued up to witness the sublime, prodigious talent the like of which had never been observed before. Despite Pele’s immeasurable talents with a football being referred to as God-given, the man himself always begged to differ; implying that success was no accident and dedication to the cause was the key to any successes, with an insistence that he plied his early trade as a street footballer, fostering futsal attributes and skills alongside of footballing ones. In his own words, Pele said; “It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do” adding; “I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘born’ football player. Perhaps you are born with certain skills and talents, but quite frankly it seems impossible to me that one is actually born to be an ace football player”.

There’s no denying that Pele’s footballing perfection came as a result of perpetual practise, from the poverty-stricken streets of Sao Paulo to the cathedrals of soccer which he blessed with his mercurial skills throughout his career. Indeed, a young Pele could not even afford a football as a kid, instead moulding the likeness of one courtesy of socks packed with newspapers or grapefruits, difficult as it is to comprehend. At the tender age of just 9 years of age Pele made a seemingly audacious promise to his father, that he would one day win a World Cup for Brazil. A bold statement of intent by anyone’s standards, yet fuelled by the love of the game and the underlying fact that his native Brazil had never claimed an international trophy to date.

Of course Pele kept the promise he made to his father, not once but on three separate occasions through the late 1950s up until 1970, as he led his beloved Brazil to a hat-trick of World Cup wins, all executed in the typical Brazilian ways we’ve grown accustomed to, where style, pace, technique and creativity are held in high esteem. When Pele hung up his boots, professionally, in 1974, he wasn’t afforded the retirement that he thought he’d earned, because as one chapter ended, another was about to begin for the supremely gifted athlete with a love of the game that all could see. Coaxed out of his retirement, Pele was offered a lucrative contract with North American MLS side, The New York Cosmos, partly to aid and abet their assault on the league whilst also with a keen eye on using Pele as a global ambassador to further the cause of football in a country which historically had far closer ties with basketball, baseball, American football and ice hockey, rather than a sport which Americans routinely dismissed as ‘soccer’.

Proving an instant success both on and off the field of play, Pele’s relationship with The Cosmos lasted for two seasons, after which his role evolved into more of a global ambassadorial one, with a view to championing the MLS further a field, rather than solely in North America. A bit like David Beckham’s association with LA Galaxy more recently. With regards to Pele though, and when being privy to him discussing his glittering playing career, one thing above all else is clear. That being that he remains steadfastly grateful for everything which he sees as the game having given him, irrespective of what he’s afforded football. As he gets older, Pele insists the desire to give back to the game grew ever stronger, hence his involvement in the game still today as he continues to forge partnerships and incentives across the planet.

In terms of Pele’s art, what we have is essentially a collection of the footballer’s visual greatest hits as it were, fantastically re-created prints which have been garnered straight off original photographs which portray the iconic footballer at key pictorial junctures in his glorious career. Everything from the classic scene of Pele shirt swapping with England’s Bobby Moore and sitting on the shoulders of the triumphant World Cup-winning Brazil team after lifting the 1970 World Cup to meetings with the equally famous likes of George Best and Muhammad Ali; all of which individually bear Pele’s signature as means of authentification and will obviously increase the long term value of the pieces.

View All Art Works By Pele