April 17, 2024

Pelé, the tribute that calls out

On December 29, 2022, Edson Arentes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, passed away. A true legend of world soccer, the former Brazil striker left an indelible mark on the history of his sport, winning three World Cups (1958, 192 and 1970), a feat never equalled since. Having passed away at the age of 82, Pelé is still fondly remembered, and many tributes have been paid to him i…

On December 29, 2022, Edson Arentes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, passed away. A true legend of world soccer, the former Brazil striker left an indelible mark on the history of his sport, winning three World Cups (1958, 192 and 1970), a feat never equalled since. Having passed away at the age of 82, Pelé is still fondly remembered, and many tributes have been paid to him in Brazil. This was the case in Rio de Janeiro, where the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer stands atop Corcovado. An illuminations is also a statue of Christ wearing a soccer shirt. I don’t know if it’s really a good move on their part, explained this Twittos. Less measured, another spoke of blasphemy. A third commented more caustically: I knew soccer was Brazil’s number one religion, I just didn’t know how much!

What an aberration

In Brazil, opinions were sometimes much more trenchant: What an aberration. What does Jesus have to do with Pele? Let them do it with a statue of Pele, not one of our Lord. But even if many expressed their rejection of the initiative, many also agreed that it was a good idea to make a statue of Jesus.