Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Midtown Manhattan, NYC:
Hundreds of soccer fans lined up all day at the Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue for the opportunity to have the legendary Pele sign a copy of his just released book; “Pele: Why Soccer Matters” by Pele with Brian Winter.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento — soccer’s most revered player and perhaps the 20th century’s most popular athlete — shares memories of childhood, a professional career that took him to New York to play for the Cosmos, highlighting Brazilian excellence, and now to be apart of the World Cup’s return to his native land this summer and the future of the game.
Widely regarded by soccer experts and fans as the greatest player of all time, Pele’s name has been synonymous with soccer greatness for nearly six decades. He won three FIFA World Cups with Brazil, where he is hailed as a national hero for both his play on the field and his dedication to improving social conditions for the poor. The greatest goal scorer of all-time, he found the net 1283 times in 1366 games during his career, a feat recognized as a Guinness World Record. When he joined the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in 1975, he significantly increased public awareness and interest in soccer in the United States, and he led the team to the NASL championship in 1977, his third and final season with the club.
In 1999, Pele was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century, was elected “Athlete of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, and was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics. In 2014, he received the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur in recognition of his career and achievements as a global soccer icon. Since his retirement from the soccer pitch he has used his global standing to serve as an active ambassador for humanitarian and environmental causes.
In his latest book, Why Soccer Matters, now on sale, Pele details his ambitious goals for the future of the sport and, by extension, the world.