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pele

World Cup Legends: ‘A childhood dream’

Amar Shah’s family ran a sports store importing footballs from Pakistan so he grew up re-enacting World Cup moments with his mates. When Adidas released a historical match-ball series for the 2010 World Cup, on a dare from his wife, he set about a mission: to have a World Cup winning legend sign each ball in the collection. This is his story. Continue reading →

O Canarinho: The Most Iconic Shirt in History

Known ‘O Canarinho’ The Little Canary, it is one of the most iconic images in sport. Yellow flashing with blue on bronzed skin, dancing, darting, with a ball moving like paint strokes. Zig-zags, turns, pass, pass pass. Brazil. The cradle of football. Movers. Masters. The jersey of the Selecao epitomises soccer and the World Cup, and when the tournament kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12, millions will wear the beloved shirt in a nation besotted with the beautiful game. And yet, the garment wouldn’t exist – certainly not in its current form – without the devastation of Brazil’s loss in the 1950 World Cup final and the subsequent imagination of a 19-year-old from the city of Pelotas. Continue reading →

The Crying Game: Ronaldo, Pelé Awarded Ballon d’Or

Cristiano Ronaldo, who grew up in poverty in Madeira, gave an emotional speech as he accepted the FIFA Ballon d’Or, crowning him as the world’s best player for a second time. There were tears too for Brazilian legend Pelé, who was awarded an honorary trophy. Meanwhile Zlatan Ibrahimovic took the Puskas award for the best goal of 2013 for his outrageous bicycle kick against England. Continue reading →

Pelé, the Nickname, and Jimmy Magee

He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, but is known throughout the world simply as Pelé. The origin of the nickname given to the man who just celebrated his 73rd birthday is far from certain, but, as ever, an Irish footballing myth gained legs over the years. With a movie on his life now shooting in Brazil, could the story make it to the big screen? Continue reading →

Maracana History Repeating Itself

It’s ironic that the reopening of Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium with Brazil vs England should be overshadowed by accusations that the venue isn’t ready. It’s merely a case of history repeating itself. In the second instalment of The Brazil Series, a collection of articles inspired by the world’s greatest footballing cradle, Póg Mo Goal looks at the storied past of the iconic ground that holds a special place in the heart of all Brazilians. Continue reading →