6 of the Best Lines About Pele

In the soccer legend, Andy Warhol found a muse
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2022 9:00 AM CST
6 of the Best Lines About Pele
Andy Warhol talks with soccer superstar Pele about a portrait he is making of him on July 26, 1977, in New York. In the background is a poster with a photograph of Pele in action.   (AP Photo/Claudia Larson, File)

The "king of soccer" is dead, and tributes to 82-year-old Pele make clear his influence went well beyond the sport. Some of the notable ones, from past and present:

  • "Pele is one of the few who contradicted my theory," Andy Warhol once said. “Instead of 15 minutes of fame, he will have 15 centuries.” The Art Newspaper explains how Pele became a muse for the artist, as well as others, including Martin Parr, Juergen Teller, and Elaine de Kooning.
  • "Before Pele, football was only a sport. Pele changed everything. He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave a voice to the poor, to black people." That is current Brazilian star Neymar on Instagram, per the BBC.

  • "My name is Ronald Reagan, I'm the president of the United States of America. But you don't need to introduce yourself because everyone knows who Pele is.'' So said Reagan upon Pele's 1980s visit to the White House, per the AP.
  • "Unique. Genius. Technical. Creative. Perfect. Unequalled. Where Pele has gone, he has stayed. Never having left the top, he leaves us today. The king of football—one and only. The greatest of all time." That's from another modern star, Cristiano Ronaldo, also via the BBC.
  • "Pele was the most complete player I've ever seen—he had everything. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Quick. Powerful. Could beat people with skill. Could outrun people." That's from the late Bobby Moore of England, who played against him.
  • NASA paid homage using this image of a spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor. It has Brazil's colors.
(More soccer stories.)

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