obituary | Pele: ‘The Legend that Pays tribute to Japanese Football’

PeleFormer Brazil nationwide soccer crew chief, nicknamed “O Rei” (The King), handed away on Thursday (December twenty ninth). He was 82 years outdated.

This Football The legend had a particular feeling of friendship in direction of Japan. Pele was current when a farewell match was held for Japanese soccer hero Kunishige Kamamoto in 1984. Seven years after his personal retirement, he willingly accepted his “buddy involvement” within the match.

Pele’s Deep Devotion to Japan

Soccer author Hiroyuki Kagawa, now 98, helped make the Brazilian sports activities icon’s go to to Japan come true. He fondly recalled that Pele “had a powerful attachment to Japan”. “He’s happy with the rising recognition of soccer, Brazil’s primary sport, in Japan,” stated Pele.

The send-off match for Kamamoto was sponsored by his crew’s dad or mum firm Yanmar Diesel (now Yanmar Holdings) on the former Nationwide Stadium in Tokyo. Referred to as Yanmar Diesel within the Japan Soccer League on the time, he’s now J league The squad is named Cerezo Osaka.

One other particular visitor invited to the retirement match was former West Germany nationwide crew participant and World Cup champion Wolfgang Overath.

Three-Hour Solo Press Convention

A joint press convention was held for Pele and Overath upon their arrival in Japan. Nonetheless, Overath’s flight was delayed and Pele appeared alone with reporters. He spent the subsequent three hours answering questions and exhibiting no displeasure.

Kagawa, who made preparations for the press convention, conveyed the shock of a Brazilian official.

“If I had requested him to carry a three-hour press convention, Brazilit might value some huge cash.” As if to emphasise the purpose, he stated, “I’m impressed.”

The youngsters, who flocked to the lodge the place Pele was staying in Tokyo, waited to ask Pele’s autograph. “He lined up the youngsters within the lodge foyer and walked alongside the road, signing his autograph one after the other,” Kagawa recalled.

“Pele liked Japan and Japan liked Pele. He cared about his Japanese followers,” Kagawa stated. He then gratefully added, “The worldwide star was type sufficient to deal with Japanese kids with sincerity.”


Elevating Soccer in Japan

On the finish of the farewell match, Pele and Overath took Kamamoto on their shoulders. Kagawa recalled that Pele had proven homage to the most effective Japanese striker by being utterly humble and courteous.

The previous journalist continued by telling his recollections. “The world-renowned soccer legend Pele approached the rising area of Japanese soccer with candor,” he stated.

“The world of Japanese soccer owes quite a bit to Pele. He was not solely a soccer legend, but additionally a terrific individual.”


(Learn the Japanese obituary at this link.)

Creator: Nobuyuki Kitagawa

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