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...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pele And Maradona Today

These two footballing legends had remarkably different official engagements on Tuesday, neatly reflecting their individual storylines.

Brazilian legend, Pelé, who has been official soccer's golden boy going on 50 years, was visiting Sweden, the scene of his country's first World Cup win, whose anniversary they were marking. He even gave an autographed football to their Queen, Silvia.

Though the ball was signed in English ("With Love, Pelé"), the Queen is absolutely fluent in Portuguese, as she is in her native German. Her mother was born Ana Soares de Toledo, heralding from the State of São Paulo. Silvia spent 10 years of her childhood there, so I'm sure they spoke Portuguese together.

Incidentally, Pelé looks incredible for a man of 68. He could easily be a decade or more younger.

Unfortunately, life hasn't been as kind to Diego Armando Maradona.

Not only was he the poster boy for destructive behaviour, but his onfield brilliance was shadowed by that nagging penchant he had for cheating. To this day, new Scotland manager, and ex-England captain, Terry Butcher, refuses to forgive Maradona for that infamous "Hand of God" goal, that I personally remember so well, despite being a child.

Unlike Pelé, though, his country's Federation has given him a much weightier role than Goodwill Ambassador -- he has been appointed Argentina's manager, and today at his first presser, he stated without hesitation that he will make Argentina a World Cup winner again.

To date, Brazil have proven themselves capable of flinging off the ghost of Pelé. They have won two World Cups without him, and played in all the World Cup Final matches since 1994, save for 2006.

But Argentina have not proven that they can win without Maradona.

Will his managerial style be more successful today, than it was during a similar appointment in the past? We shall see.

One thing is for sure: Maradona is literally a shadow of himself ever since undergoing gastric bypass surgery. However haggard you may see him looking here, it's good to see him looking less like the water buffalo of old.



  • And the Hand of God said "Super-Size Me"....and yea it came to pass.

    My word verification is 'ingies'. I don't just show anyone my Ingies, you know.

    By Anonymous PavelB1, at Wed Nov 19, 04:04:00 am GMT-5  

  • Pele is a g-d, Maradona is a has-been who never compared to the Master. He was good in'86, but come '90 no one let him touch the ball. The unsung hero of '90 was Caniggia, not Maradona. That's IMHO

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Wed Nov 19, 07:54:00 pm GMT-5  

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