″Pelé looked at me from 50 meters away and told me the jersey was promised″

José Alberto Costa wears the shirt of Brazilian King Pelé

Former Portuguese worldwide participant José Alberto Costa wears the jersey of Brazilian King Pelé, who died on Thursday at the age of 82, after the sport between the Rochester Lancers and Cosmos, in the North American (*50*), in 1977.

“What touched me was a participant of his caliber and popularity with sensitivity, humility and willingness to be form to somebody I do not know anyplace, however who defines a number of what he’s and his angle to the sport. the reminiscence, as a result of it’s a constructive side that I see in him”, emphasised the former winger of FC Porto or Académica, aged 69, who additionally began a training profession.

The change of jerseys occurred in one in every of the two legs of the play-off ultimate of the Eastern Conference of the North American Soccer (*50*) (NASL), which lasted between 1968 and 1984 and was the origin of the present Major (*50*) Soccer ( MLS ), the highest division from the United States.

“In making an attempt to implement soccer there, they’ve created many groups and attracted huge names who’re near or at the finish of their careers, however have a excessive standing when it comes to world recognition.” , stated the Rochester Lancers ahead.

José Alberto Costa arrived at the doomed membership from exterior New York at the age of 23, becoming a member of compatriots Artur Jorge, Ibrahim Silva, João Pedro and Messias, after being loaned out in the summer time for 3 months in Académica, which he represented since 1971 /72.

“Artur Jorge has some good contacts in the United States, however he was injured at the starting of the season and largely performed the function of sports activities director, as a result of he was a good friend of the coach. [o jugoslavo Dragan Popović]. At one level, he began making an attempt to lift the components of taking part in in the “play-offs”. That’s how this chance got here to me and I went,” he stated.

Agreed to “keep a yr” at Académica when he returned from the NASL, the place he earned “in three months what he earned in Coimbra in two years”, he opposed the curiosity of those that first nationwide golf equipment to finish the college course in Civil Engineering.

“We knocked out each groups [St. Louis Stars e Toronto Metros-Croatia] till we acquired Cosmos from New York, which is the greatest in the United States and contains names like Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto or Pelé. It was a time the place many Portuguese have been drawn to play in these circumstances for 2 or three months, as in the circumstances of Artur Jorge, António Simões and Eusébio”, he contextualized.

The Rochester Lancers misplaced at house (1-2) at Holleder Memorial, on August 21, three days earlier than struggling one other highway loss (1-4), with Edson Arantes do Nascimento scoring one in every of the objectives. purpose of the Cosmos, to the pleasure of the public current. at Giants Stadium.

“These video games are utilized by the NASL as a purpose to advertise athletes and golf equipment and a sport that, in a approach, is new for them and by no means skilled. at the finish of every sport of those formations with louder names, there are peaceable invasions of the discipline, as folks need to ask for autographs and gear and to take footage”, he described.

José Alberto Costa used the customary greeting between the gamers and the refereeing workforce to ask Pelé, “one in every of his idols and the biggest reference in the world at that point”, presenting himself to the “king” with the intention is to alternate jerseys at the finish of the sport.

“The sport began and I do not actually bear in mind what we talked about. He told me that, if I may, we’d promote, however he could not promise me something, as a result of it was seven canine to a bone. , that was it . Suddenly, the crowd he approached two or three athletes, primarily Beckenbauer and Pelé, who’re high exponents. In entrance of this moist and moist chaos, I noticed Pelé asking the folks asking him a shirt, socks or shorts to face subsequent to him and let him go. He looked at me from 50 meters away, walked in the direction of me and told me that the jersey has been promised”, he repeated.

The “sympathetic gesture” of the solely three-time world champion footballer (1958, 1962 and 1970), who, at the age of 36, is about to shut his profession with the solely title of champion of the United States in thrice for The Cosmos, affecting a younger man “filled with ambition”.

“That jersey is one in every of the few that I admire. Autographed by Pelé? It’s my dream. I was with him in two or three different conditions later, however I by no means acquired the jersey. It’s unimaginable, however I can solely hope for a reunion in one other hypothetical plan for him to have the ability to signal”, assured the former striker, who, from 1978 to 1985, would win two championships, a Portuguese Cup and a Super Cup for at FC Porto.

José Alberto Costa shared a photograph on social networks wherein he appeared with Pelé, who turned immortal with the Brazilians at Santos (1956-1974) earlier than taking part in 64 video games and 37 objectives for membership in New York, who ended up being generally known as a sportsman and footballer. in the XX century by the International Olympic Committee (1999) and FIFA (2000), respectively.

“His skills are complementary, with the particularity that we’re not very used to seeing them and doing them. That’s why he began to implement and the successes he had, so he’s a quantity. Pelé is on high of publicity of the modality and the starting of the world dimension that soccer has. The gamers who got here subsequent contributed with nice advantage to the enterprise and the world that seems to exist right this moment”, he concluded.

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