ANI Photo | Pele was great icon, legend and ambassador to me: Former India footballer Anadi Barua

Former India footballer Anadi Barua on Friday said that Brazilian football legend Pele, who passed away at the age of 82 was a remarkable icon, legend and ambassador for him.
Brazilian football legend Pele and the three-time World Cup winner died after a prolonged battle with cancer on Thursday. He was 82. The ‘Eternal King’, as Pele was popularly known, had a colon tumour removed last year. His health deteriorated last month and he was readmitted to Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“Pele was a great icon, legend and ambassador to me. When I met Pele sir in Rio, I could not talk much with him but after some time we had a pleasant conversation. I went to Brazil to get the FIFA diploma. When I went to meet Pele sir, I told him that I am from India I think he could not understand in what language I was speaking. He was talking in Portuguese, so the interpreter went and told him that I came from India. So Pele was very happy and said India is a good country and it can grow in football. He then said it will be good if India plays the World Cup next. I’m glad he said that,” Barua told ANI.

“I met him for the second time in the Subroto Football Tournament in 2015. So I told him that I had met you last time in Rio, he saw me but could not recognize me. For me to meet him as a fan is a big thing. A legendary player who scored so many goals in the World Cup, it is a matter of great sadness if such a player is gone. Pele’s name will remain in the world’s top players for life,” Barua further added.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in 1940, Pele had humble beginnings but went on to become Brazil’s all-time record scorer with 77 goals in 92 appearances.
Pele was considered as one of the greatest footballers of all time. He was the only player to have won three World Cup titles, having won the top prize in football in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He also won numerous trophies at the club and country level.
At the FIFA World Cup, Pele scored 12 goals in 14 matches across four editions, the second most by any Brazilian after Ronaldo. He scored 77 goals in 92 games and is top goal scorer for Brazil. Pele is the most successful top-division scorer in the sport with 541 goals in 560 games. He totalled 1283 goals in 1363 games including the friendlies. (ANI)

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