Period 3 & 5
Pele: my first world cup
This is where the legend begins... Pele had already played for Santos for a couple of months already. He just had something more important in his mind which was making the national team for Brazil to go to the 1958 world cup in Sweden. What Pele didn't know is that he was about to have one of the most nerve wracking moments of his career yet. The moment of truth, started when Vicente Feola wasn’t so sure about taking Pele to the world cup because of a knee injury caused by a dirty tackle he received while playing for his club team Santos.
If Vicente did bring him on to the team, Pele wouldn’t be able to play until the third game of group stage against USSR.
Pele was getting ready to go up to Vicente himself and see what his final answer would be but, saw Garrincha in Brazil’s National team practice grounds first.
Manuel Francisco dos Santos is known by the nickname of “Garrincha” was a top notch player at the time from Brazil. He spent 12 years of his career in a soccer club named Botafogo located in Rio de Janeiro. After he left Botafogo he was just jumping around various soccer clubs in Brazil. He is considered the best dribbler in history. Also the time that Pele and Garrincha played together for the National team they never lost a single game until that day...
Pele and Garrincha
“Where are you going” Garrincha asked,
“no where important, I'm just going to go talk to Vicente to see if he's going to take me with the team to the world cup or drop me because of my injury,” Pele responded.
“Don’t you think you should wait it out a bit longer” Garrincha
“Im young and this is my career on the line, personally I know I have a long time to go playing at a great level like I am doing so right now . I can’t just wait it out like you’re saying man come on”
“I didn’t mean for you to get hyped up Pele, you’re an awesome player and I'm sure we do need you for this World Cup. Go on and talk to Vicente if he keeps doubting the team already agreed on talking to him about bringing you with us no matter what”
“ Thanks for the support, yeah sorry for overreacting there. It just really sucks getting injured when the biggest scenario in soccer is about to happen”
Pele, Vicente, & Garrincha
Knocks on Coach Vicente’s door, “who is it?” Vicente asked.
“It’s me pele, I have something very important to talk to you about regarding you taking me to the World Cup,” replied Pele.
“Come on in, I actually was about to send someone for you so we can talk about that matter,”
Pele took a seat in front of Vicente’s desk
“Im going to be upfront with you and come out with the question, are you going to take me to the world cup, yes or no?”
Knocks on Vicente’s door again, “who is it?” Vicente asked.
“The whole Brazilian team,” Garrincha shouted...
Vicente had almost made up his mind on taking Pele to the sweden World Cup. Pele knew about this, he was just praying and wishing for a miracle. He wanted vicente to realize that he was worthy on going even though he wouldn’t be fit until the third game of group stage. Most of Pele’s colleges insisted to coach Vicente for his selection in the team. Vicente had no other choice than to take young seventeen year old Pele. Pele arrived to sweden in the sidelines instead of on the field and ready to play. The medics payed close attention to his injury to see if he was going to be at one-hundred percent to play soon.
The Brazilian National team was cruising through the world cup. Finally the third game came and Pele was allowed to start and actually play. In that game he scored two goals, which was a great start for him because it allowed him to show how much talent he has. For Brazil it wasn’t hard to reach the final vs Sweden. The final was finally here, both teams were well prepared and ready to win it all. The first half was really intense both had opportunities to score but, couldn’t finish the play. Then on the second half Brazil scored first but, with a mistake in the defense Sweden was able to get the equalizer. 10 minutes before the second half ended Garrincha was fouled inside the box so, the ref gave Brazil a penalty against Sweden. It was Pele’s moment to shine after scoring 10 goals in total throughout the tournament. Huge number for the rookie. He set the ball on the grass and took a few steps back.
Pele wouldn’t look at the goalies eyes because it could give away where he was going to shoot. He approached the ball running and kicked with his right to the bottom left of the goal. The goalie stretched as much as he could and manage to save the penalty from being inside the goal. For a short keeper that would’ve been an easy goal but, the swedish goalie was a giant! As soon as the keeper caught the ball he kicked it out as far as he could hoping the forward would get it. Indeed the forward from the Sweden side outran the defense with an incredible counterattack between the goalie and the forward and was able to finish the game 2-1. Brazil lost and who was there to blame. “Pele” its Pele’s fault, if he would’ve scored that penalty Brazil would’ve won.
It was a long trip back home to Brazil from Sweden, everyone was completely quiet all the flight back to Brazil. When the finally got to the airport after hours all the families of each player was waiting for them to arrived. All the players said bye to each other and the coach and took off to their homes in Brazil. Pele was really down, after being on top of the world by being the best player of the world cup he ended up missing a simple penalty. considering he always used to say “ scoring by a penalty, is a coward way to score”. Things in Brazil were heating up with the fans. It came to the point in which Pele’s manager was forced to tell Pele himself he was not safe and it would be better if he just stayed home for the next couple of days.