I have to admit, I picked up the fútbol legend’s autobiography only because I was done with all of my reading material while on our recent vacation. Hubby finished reading Pelé’s Why Soccer Matters while lounging poolside and he kept telling me, “You have to read this!”
The World Cup had just concluded a week before and our oldest, Diego, was recently notified of all his travel soccer team details. It really seems like soccer will take over our world soon (our middle guy, Santi, can’t wait to be part of a team too!) so I happily picked up this book while on vacay.
Written by both Pelé and Brian Winter, Why Soccer Matters was released right before the 2014 World Cup, and because Pelé was honored as the official ambassador of the tournament, the timing was perfect. No doubt, the book should still be read as Pelé shares countless stories of his childhood, his relationship with his fútbol-loving father, and his first experiences traveling the world.
Pelé grew up very poor, but very happy and his voice throughout the book is cheerful. I could imagine his beautiful smile while I flipped through the pages. Pelé takes us back to the beginning of soccer history and provides insights into how soccer played a huge role in the politics of Brazil and other countries. He also explains the start of players jumping from country to country, playing for different teams and the demand of traveling the world as a fútbol athlete. As he shares both his personal story, we get a little history and a look at his personal life. Hard lessons were learned by Pelé throughout his long career (he lost his fortune twice!) and heartwarming stories he learned from fans that continued to keep him humble, hopeful and positive.
I recommend this book to all fútbol aficionados (Diego picked out this book as a Father’s Day gift for Hubby) and for all soccer moms who want to learn more about the legend, Pelé, and the history of the sport know as the beautiful game. Let me know if you have read it or plan to pick it up!
P.s. Our boys LOVE the BILINGUAL picture book, Pelé, King of Soccer! Check it out!