How Pele made football player Santos the greatest player in the world

How Pele made football player Santos the greatest player in the world

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provincial town

Prior to Pelé’s arrival, Santos was an underdog, unlikely to compete with Brazil’s biggest clubs, having beaten European giants such as Real Madrid, Benfica and AC Milan.

Coming from a provincial coastal city, they were overshadowed in the state of São Paulo by teams such as Corinthians, Palmeiras, Portuguesa and São Paulo.

In Rio de Janeiro, the second center of Brazilian football, it was dominated by big teams like Botafogo with Garrincha and Jairzinho.

The cities of Rio and São Paulo had populations of millions, while Santos was a smaller city of 265,000, which meant the club had fewer crowds and less money.

But with Pelé in his favor, Santos punched well above his weight.

His presence on the international stage – aided by Brazil’s three World Cup victories between 1958 and 1970 – meant that teams from across the planet were willing to pay big bucks to see him play.

Every year Santos crisscrossed the globe playing in Sheffield and Shanghai, Barcelona and Benin, and Pele was the star attraction. His appearance fee was deducted if he was injured or missing from the line-up.

He was often forced to play when he was not fully fit because the money they received was the only way for the club to survive – and to ensure that Pelé was paid what he deserved. was worth.

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