a book about the greatest futbol player

pele soccer bookwith world cup 1950, 1958, 1970 & 1994 as backdrop, in his book “why soccer matters” (2014) pele talks about the significant influence & impact that soccer played in his life as a young boy / as well as the role that soccer played in uniting his country with national pride and how soccer & star athletes like him were used in domestic & international politics

soccer was not an extremely popular sport in the philippines when i was growing up <basketball & boxing were & still are> but we knew pele / and this is the football that filipinos would play when they did <not the steelers kind of football> \ i enjoyed watching soccer in my university <diliman campus of the university of the philippines> | the best matches were those between the international center <dorm of international students, mostly other southeast asians> vs. the best team of local students / played at the sunken garden

i’ve heard it said before & pele describes here that a national team reflects national characteristics | the germans were “efficient” <not wasting a pass or dribble>, the british “combined disciplined solidity with occasional eccentric genius,” the soviets played “scientific soccer” and as pele says, the brazilians’ style of playing was “full of joy, improvisation and our willingness for better or for worse, to ignore established conventions & rules”

winning the world cup is a matter of national pride & brings with it prestige & some amount of respect in the international community / inevitably, the sport gets drawn into the game of politics <just like chess, gymnastics, ping pong, the olympics, ballet> \ on the positive side from pele’s perspective, brazil’s loss to uruguay in 1950 was a uniting force for his country & in his later years, he knew to use his celebrity to bring about social good / one thing that i did not know before reading the book was that he was instrumental in popularizing soccer in the u.s. \ after he retired from the brazilian national team, pele played for the new york cosmos with precisely that goal & for practical financial reasons

publication of the pele’s book coincides with world cup 2014 being hosted by brazil \ from my point of view, it also coincides with pittsburgh hosting ac milan vs. manchester city on july 27 which i am excited & so looking forward to watching! / this was an enjoyable, easy and quick read | much like meeting a new friend and listening to him tell highlights of his life story \ soccer enthusiasts will also enjoy his description of his great plays <and some of these plays did not score a goal>

i heard about this book from pele himself when he was a guest in the jon stewart show!  / this is the first time i read an ebook <my device is the nook color> \ the book is still in hardcover & the nook book is half its price / you can choose line spacing, margins, color background, font & size / it’s socially connected & also shows unobtrusively when you have incoming email \ not a bad experience

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