From The Talks:
Pelé, when you are the best at something how hard is it not to get arrogant about it?
I used to tease the kids because I played better than them. But my father told me, “Don’t do this with the kids because you know how to play football; God gave you the gift to play football. You didn’t do anything. You have to respect people, because it is important to be a good man, a good person. From now on, you must be this example.”
I am not sure if it was only God who gave you that gift. Being at the top of the game must be hard work as well.
Of course the work is very, very important. That is exactly what my father meant: God gave you the gift to play football, but this is a present. You must respect people and work hard to be in shape. And I used to train very hard. When the others players went to the beach after training, I was there kicking the ball. Another thing I say is, if I am a good player, if I have a gift from God but I don’t have the physical condition to run on the field what am I going to do?
Did you ever feel like your abilities were super-human?
No, we are all human beings. I have to trust something that gives me power, I have to believe in something, but in my career I have a lot of moments I cannot explain with God. We went to Africa and we stopped the war in Africa because the people went to see Pelé play. They stopped the war. Just God can’t explain that. I don’t know why – it is impossible to know why – but they stopped the war. When we finished the game and we left they continue to fight.