Blake Snow

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Tagged Pele

The exact moment I fell in love with soccer

Paramount

Paramount

In honor of the World Cup, which starts next week in Brazil, here’s how I fell in love with the game.

The year: 198X. I was at a friend’s house in a remote part of northern Oklahoma. We were watching Victory, a so-so Sylvester Stallone movie about a POW soccer team playing Nazi Germany during World War II. My buddy and I were no older than five or six at the time.

Not wanting to endure the feeble character and pre-game drama, we fast forwarded the VHS “through all the boring stuff” to get right to the climatic game. While the build up to said game will likely keep most adults engaged — more for its interesting plot than acting skills — the last 20 minutes of the movie is most triumphant.

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Team player: Reason no. 352 Pelé was better than Maradona

Pele bicycle kick

While talking in the third-person on page 198 of his biography: “Pelé is a famous name, but Pelé made his goals because another player passed to him at the proper time. And Brazil won games because Pelé didn’t try to make all the goals by himself, but passed the ball to others when it was indicated, so the goal could be made—that’s the way games are won.” Case closed on the world’s greatest soccer player.

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