Understanding Soccer and Its Fundamentals

I knew very little about soccer, as a kid.  But for a kid like me who grew up in a neighborhood that was more into basketball; I always had a burning curiosity about other sports and soccer, and wanted to see what all the fuss is about.  As far as I remember my younger-self seeing, soccer was just a bunch of people running on perfectly trimmed grass, and kicking around a ball.

Seeing The World Cup for the first time just further ignited my curiosity of the game. Aside from the popular personalities in the game, what’s interesting about it is that it’s like one big chessboard.  Knowing who to place where, and having countless strategies both offensive and defensive are keys to succeeding in the game.

Soccer can be very confusing especially to people like me who are in the early stages of learning and appreciating the game. It may take a while to figure out what defenders, midfielders, forwards, and goalkeepers do on the field. So for those who are new to the sport, Here’ are a few things to help you understand the game better:

The players

In total, the team has 11 players on the field. They have 1 goalkeeper and 10 field players. The goalkeeper is the only member allowed to use his hands. However, he’s restricted to an 18 yard rectangular area on each side of the goal. His main role is to block the ball of the opponent from reaching the goal. Other members include; defenders who prevent the main player of the opponent from scoring, midfielders whose focus are on defense and attack. Usually, midfielders or “wingers” (as they are fondly called) require good dribbling, passing, and running ability.  Lastly, we have the forwards or strikers whose job is to score goals for the team.

It is important that a team has a good set of players. However, as mentioned earlier, no matter how good they are it still won’t come as a success without a good strategy. Game formation plays a major role in determining the team strategy. Defenders are listed first, midfielders in the middle, and then strikers take front.  Below are some of the most popular formations used on the game.

The classic 4-4-2

One of the most commonly used formations in the game is the classic 4-4-2. It can either be an offensive or defensive tactic against an opponent. This formation bottles up the opposition in the midfield before they can get to the goal. It is an organized structure of defenders and midfielders which promises a good attack through the middle or on the wings. Also, there are 2 strikers that pose a threat to the opponent.  The disadvantage of this formation is that it may result to a crowded midfield. It may be easier to maintain possession of the ball but harder to do anything with it. Some midfielders might be set to low defense work rate.

The popular 3-5-2

This formation gives more offense because of the presence of five midfielders.   But bear in mind that the three in the back should have an equal and/or matching pace with the five.  Midfielders should be able to communicate and play defense well and not get caught up field.  Failure to do so could spell a quick and easy goal for the offense.

The 4-4-1-1

This formation is a simple variation of the 4-4-2. The second forward is situated behind the main striker but ahead of the midfielders. The advantage of this formation is that the second forward has more options including bearing down a goal and freedom to operate. Aside from himself, he can also create goal opportunities for the other members of the team. He can also arrive late in the box to join an attack. Since this is a variation of the 4-4-2, its disadvantage is that, the midfielders may be set to low work rate and not defend.

The 4-5-1

Often seen on the European games is the 4-5-1 formation. This provides a good and solid base because of the presence of five midfielders. Although effective in keeping possession of the ball, this formation limits the offense of the team. Unless provided with a strong front man, this formation produces a few goal scoring chances.

The 3-4-3

If you are looking for an attack, the 3-4-3 is a good option. Although this requires very good players, this formation is good for going for goals. With three forwards, this increases the chances of creating opportunities for a goal. It is important that the players watch out for big spaces at the back where they could be exploited and good opponents may drop the ball.

There are a lot of points to consider in making a formation produce a successful result. Careful planning and analysis that includes understanding the opponent, the players and even the venue should be considered. Formations should not be used just based on whether it worked the game before or not. At the end of the day, the winner will always be the one who played harder and smarter than the rest.

The Confession of a Hardcore Gamer

“How long has it been since you saw the daylight?! Go out and play with your friends for the love of God!”

 

Do you remember what it was like to play outside for hours tirelessly? I don’t. Yes, guilty as charged. I am a crazy gamer. There was a time when mothers begged their children to let go of their friends after hours and hours of play outside and come back to the house since they hadn’t been back for lunch…or dinner! Gone are those days. These days, video games have taken over the youth. Don’t worry, I am not here to lecture you about how they ruin your eyes and make you snobby and hinder productivity – I myself am an addict!

I got my first PSP when I was 10 and by God I have never had a better Christmas present (Grandma knew how to spoil me, and my dad has not forgiven her till date). Playing video games has been a passion of mine and I don’t see it swaying any time soon. It’s not my fault, newer, better games keep coming in! I think it’s safe to say that I am a hardcore gamer, I spend tremendous amounts of time on this hobby of mine. There is just something about sitting behind the screen and experiencing the utter joy of killing the enemy with either your bare hands, a dagger, or better yet, a tanker! DOTA, COD, FIFA. Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Grand Theft Auto, Halo – I am a sucker for all genres of video games. My favorite, though, are war and fighting games. The realistic graphics are what intrigue me the most. The fact that regardless of where you stand in your professional life, these games allow you to experience first-hand war zone activity in the best form.

I think of video games as an expression of art. Indeed, video games are visuals, music and poetry all packed up into a single, exciting package. A video game isn’t just a game, there is a lot that goes on behind the screen. It is a measured passage through an ever overwhelming aesthetic experience that takes the player to a whole different world. An aesthetic experience that provokes an emotional response in its audience, be it wonder, anger, love, frustration or joy.

Isn’t it true that the real essence of art lies in taking its audience to a new world where everything is different from where they are physically present? Don’t video games do just that? It is really not child’s play.

 

Sony PlayStation 2 is the most successful gaming system of all time

Justice League Sony Playstation 2- TheGameWizThe Sony Corporation’s line of PlayStation consoles are the most popular and bestselling video gaming systems of all time. When the original PlayStation came out in December of 1994, it quickly became a fierce competitor to the consoles made by Sega and Nintendo. By the time March of 2000 came along, Sony released the PlayStation 2. This was the next installment in their PlayStation series, but it was more than just a typical gaming console. It also had the capability of playing DVD movies in addition to playing games. Not only that, the PlayStation 2 was the first system to introduce backwards compatibility.

 

This allowed PlayStation 2 users to play their PlayStation 1 games on their PlayStation 2 consoles. The very idea of doing this was something very attractive to gamers who wanted to play both sets of games on one console. Gamers could even place the PlayStation 2 console vertically upright instead of just horizontally flat. Sony later released other versions of the PlayStation 2 that were smaller, lighter and slimmer. These updated versions of PlayStation 2 helped contribute to its worldwide success.

NASCAR - Sony Playstation 2 TheGameWizTo this day, the PlayStation 2 holds the record for bestselling video gaming console of all time. In 2011, it was confirmed that over 150 million PlayStation 2 units were sold worldwide and over 1.5 billion copies of games produced for the system were sold. Because of its popularity, Sony manufactured the system from the year 2000 up until the year 2013.

 

This was a total of 13 years, which makes it the longest running video game console ever produced. During the same generation, the Nintendo Gamecube only lasted 6 years and sold 22 million consoles. The Microsoft Xbox had a 7 year run and sold 24 million consoles. When you crunch the numbers together, this shows that PlayStation 2 actually sold 109 million more consoles than Xbox and Gamecube’s total sales combined.

 

 

 

 

 

Yakuza 2 Sony Playstation 2 TheGameWiz

Don’t forget that PlayStation 2’s successor, the PlayStation 3, came out at the end of 2006. It still took a whole 7 years after PlayStation 3 came out for the PlayStation 2 to finally stop being manufactured. When the two systems were competing against each other between 2007 and 2009, PlayStation 2 was still outselling the newly released PlayStation 3 by a 4 to 1 margin.

 

Many gamers and critics believe that PlayStation 2 was popular in the beginning because of all its advanced new features. Then by the time PlayStation 3 came out, the PlayStation 2 was already priced around $99 and was still very affordable to people. Plus, there were still new games being made for PlayStation 2 all the way up until 2013. So people who owned the old system were still getting a new selection of games to purchase at the store well after PlayStation 3 came out.

 

5 Must-See Kite Flying Festivals around the Globe

If you’re a fan of kites and you love to fly them in an open field, you might have attended at least one kite festival in your life. However, there are tons of festivals in the world that feature the most unique, beautiful and memorable flying objects that would ever grace our skies.

At these events, not only do people parade around big, beautiful, and sometimes, quirky kites, they also participate in Stunt Shows, Kite Challenges (which answer the question “Whose kite will fly the steadiest?”), and even Kite Fights!

Below is a list of 5 stunning festivals that no kite fan should ever miss:

 

Cervia International Kite Festival

Cervia

Cervia’s kite festival holds stunt shows, free flights, and kite fights. However, the most-awaited event is the Artisti in primo piano (Artists in the foreground) event, where they fly kites designed and created by artists. See only the most creative kites ever flown by man at the Cervia International Kite Festival in Cervia, Italy.

 

Fano, Denmark

Fano

Fano’s kite flying festival is just what the name states: Kite Flying. The festival is a meeting of enthusiasts all over the world who just love to chill under the sun and fly their colorful kites in the air. They now have over 5,000 active participants. From professionals to beginners, young and old, kites of all shapes and sizes will flit and float above the beach of Fano, Denmark in the middle of June. It’s truly a sight to behold!

 

Long Beach, Washington

long-beach

The kite festival in Long Beach, Washington happens every August. The venue is considered as America’s center for kite flying. With a refreshing breeze constantly flowing on the shores of Long Beach, you’ll definitely enjoy flying your colorful kites here. The World Kite Museum is also located in this place. This museum aims to preserve the 2,500 year-old history of this toy. It has a collection of more than 1,500 kites ranging from the tiniest kite to a 200-foot long dragon kite.

 

Malaysia’s World Kite Festival (Festival Layang-Layang Sedunia)

malaysia

At the Festival Layang-Layang Seduina in Pasir Gudany, Malaysia, you can get a chance to see the kite-making and kite-flying prowess of talented locals. In addition to traditionally designed kites, they also feature kites from all over the world. They have great food, wonderful ambience, and the Pasir Gudang Kite Museum, which you can visit while waiting for the kites to fly.

 

Hamamatsu Festival

hammatsu

The Hamamatsu kite flying festival happens near the Nakatajima Sand Dunes. Aside from the basic flying activities, they also host Kite Fights, making the festival feel like an aerial war with all the sand being blown all over the place. The participants try to drag their opponents’ kites to the ground via friction. They use the really large kites, and the strings tend to burn, creating a scorching smell that will waft throughout the whole venue. The Hamamatsu Festival is an intense event that will leave you excited and entertained for throughout the day.

Have you joined any of these festivals before? Share your most memorable experiences in the comments!

 

Photo Credits:

socialholiday.eu
peterlynnhimself.com
beachcombersnw.com
holidaygogogo.com
flickr.com

 

Understanding Soccer and Its Fundamentals

I knew very little about soccer, as a kid.  But for a kid like me who grew up in a neighborhood that was more into basketball; I always had a burning curiosity about other sports and soccer, and wanted to see what all the fuss is about.  As far as I remember my younger-self seeing, soccer was just a bunch of people running on perfectly trimmed grass, and kicking around a ball.

Seeing The World Cup for the first time just further ignited my curiosity of the game. Aside from the popular personalities in the game, what’s interesting about it is that it’s like one big chessboard.  Knowing who to place where, and having countless strategies both offensive and defensive are keys to succeeding in the game.

Soccer can be very confusing especially to people like me who are in the early stages of learning and appreciating the game. It may take a while to figure out what defenders, midfielders, forwards, and goalkeepers do on the field. So for those who are new to the sport, Here’ are a few things to help you understand the game better:

The players

In total, the team has 11 players on the field. They have 1 goalkeeper and 10 field players. The goalkeeper is the only member allowed to use his hands. However, he’s restricted to an 18 yard rectangular area on each side of the goal. His main role is to block the ball of the opponent from reaching the goal. Other members include; defenders who prevent the main player of the opponent from scoring, midfielders whose focus are on defense and attack. Usually, midfielders or “wingers” (as they are fondly called) require good dribbling, passing, and running ability.  Lastly, we have the forwards or strikers whose job is to score goals for the team.

It is important that a team has a good set of players. However, as mentioned earlier, no matter how good they are it still won’t come as a success without a good strategy. Game formation plays a major role in determining the team strategy. Defenders are listed first, midfielders in the middle, and then strikers take front.  Below are some of the most popular formations used on the game.

The classic 4-4-2

One of the most commonly used formations in the game is the classic 4-4-2. It can either be an offensive or defensive tactic against an opponent. This formation bottles up the opposition in the midfield before they can get to the goal. It is an organized structure of defenders and midfielders which promises a good attack through the middle or on the wings. Also, there are 2 strikers that pose a threat to the opponent.  The disadvantage of this formation is that it may result to a crowded midfield. It may be easier to maintain possession of the ball but harder to do anything with it. Some midfielders might be set to low defense work rate.

The popular 3-5-2

This formation gives more offense because of the presence of five midfielders.   But bear in mind that the three in the back should have an equal and/or matching pace with the five.  Midfielders should be able to communicate and play defense well and not get caught up field.  Failure to do so could spell a quick and easy goal for the offense.

The 4-4-1-1

This formation is a simple variation of the 4-4-2. The second forward is situated behind the main striker but ahead of the midfielders. The advantage of this formation is that the second forward has more options including bearing down a goal and freedom to operate. Aside from himself, he can also create goal opportunities for the other members of the team. He can also arrive late in the box to join an attack. Since this is a variation of the 4-4-2, its disadvantage is that, the midfielders may be set to low work rate and not defend.

The 4-5-1

Often seen on the European games is the 4-5-1 formation. This provides a good and solid base because of the presence of five midfielders. Although effective in keeping possession of the ball, this formation limits the offense of the team. Unless provided with a strong front man, this formation produces a few goal scoring chances.

The 3-4-3

If you are looking for an attack, the 3-4-3 is a good option. Although this requires very good players, this formation is good for going for goals. With three forwards, this increases the chances of creating opportunities for a goal. It is important that the players watch out for big spaces at the back where they could be exploited and good opponents may drop the ball.

There are a lot of points to consider in making a formation produce a successful result. Careful planning and analysis that includes understanding the opponent, the players and even the venue should be considered. Formations should not be used just based on whether it worked the game before or not. At the end of the day, the winner will always be the one who played harder and smarter than the rest.

Check out this great soccer board game, click here.

Things You Should Know About the Game of Go

Wei Qi in China, Baduk in Korea, and Go in Japan – the Game of Go is one of the oldest board games that is gaining popularity throughout Asia, the United States, and Europe. The Game of Go is a board game similar to chess wherein complex strategies and analytical skills are essential in order to win the game. What are the things you should know about the Game of Go?

 

game of go

 

 

The History of Go

The history of Go dates back 3,000 – 4,000 years although its exact origin is unknown. The game is said to have its roots in China, with the game being one of the “Four Accomplishments” to be mastered by Chinese men. Another legend says that the game was invented by Emperor Yao to enlighten his son, Dan Zhu. Though the game is said to have originated in China, where it was called Wei Qi, it was in Japan where the game, which they called “Go,” flourished. In Japan, 4 schools were founded to establish standards, improve the game, and classify players into 9 dans or grades. These schools were Honinbo, Inoue, Hayashi, and Yasue. Out of the four, the House of Honinbo produced more Meijins or experts – a title that only one person can have at a time. The game, however, had a slow progress when the Shogunate collapsed in 1868 and the Emperor resumed his position.

In Korea, the game is popularly known as Baduk. According to the Korea Baduk Organization, there were 6 stages in the history of Korean Baduk with the earliest story of the game told in the book, “Samguk-Sagi” or “The History of the Three Nation.” The game was said to have been brought to Korea by Cho Nam-cheol who went to Japan, studied the game, and passed the professional exams. During the mid-Chosun era, Baduk became popular with the civil and military upper classes. Like in China, Baduk was one of the arts which these gentlemen had to study.

Internationally, the Game of Go was not played on a regular and professional basis until 1880, when Oskar Korschelt wrote a book about the game. In the 1950’s, the British Go Association was formed.

 

The Present Game of Go

In Japan, the game has become increasingly popular with the youth because of the hit manga series in 2001 called Hikaru no Go. The story is about Hikaru, a young boy who stumbles upon his grandfather’s Go board. The board is haunted by a fictional Go player from the Heian era named Fujiwara-no-Sai who wishes to play and attain the “Divine Move.” Sai, then, becomes Hikaru’s separate personality in order to achieve this dream. Aside from the manga series which increased the game’s popularity, the Nihon Kiin (organization created for professional Go players in Japan) also publishes magazines and books in English.

Koreans are known for being quick Go/Baduk players. In 1996, Korea was named as the World Leader in Baduk. Lee Chang-ho, one of the top players in Korea, garnered the 8th King of Baduk title, and became the youngest player to win the title. According to the British Go Association, 5-10 percent of the Korean population plays Go regularly.

In Europe, Go is played in most countries. More and more Europeans spend time studying the game in Japan, Korea, and China. In Britain, championships and tournaments are held every year throughout the country.

Learning and playing the game is made easier and more convenient these days with the creation of Go Servers such as KGS, OnlineGo, and Pandanet. Players can teach, learn, discuss, and play Go with other members of the community.

 

How to Play the Game of Go

Playing the game of Go might seem easy. The game is all about 2 people who take turns to place black and white stones on a 19 x 19 board with 361 intersections (although beginners may start with a 5 x 5 board). It has simple rules that require complex strategies in order to win. In this game, there are 2 goals: first, you must capture as many stones from the opponent as you can; the second and most important aim is to enclose as many points as possible with your own stones. An important rule of the game is that once stones have been played, they should never be moved again unless the stones get captured.

The empty points next to a stone are called Liberties. Stones connected to each other share their liberties, and once an opponent takes on the last liberty, the stones are captured. One should always remember never to play a stone where it won’t have at least one liberty. The game ends when there are no more useful moves and both players pass – with one player passing immediately after the other. Whoever has more enclosed points and captured stones at the end of the game wins. For a more detailed illustration on how to play the game, check out the British Go Association’s comic guide.

 

Have you played the Game of Go yet? What are your other favorite board games?

Blues of An Overly-attached Fanatic As The World Cup Ended

The World Cup 2014 became a much loved topic these past few weeks by different news portals, sports channels, online forums, and chats — thanks to its millions of fans across the world who supported, including you.

worldcupblues1 worldcupblues2
                  Photo Credits: www.richliebermanreport.blogspot.com and www.people.com

 

You felt sorry for Spain in the 2010 World Cup Spain for their early elimination after that painful 5-1 loss from Netherlands, and the failure to redeem themselves in their game versus Chile (2-0). The pressure of delivering great games is always on the shoulders of the defending champion in any sports.

You became bewildered over the inappropriate action of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez against Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. The controversial biting incident banned him from playing for four months and missing the rest of the World Cup.

You commended Tim Howard when he flaunted his exceptional abilities as a goalkeeper with his impressive 16 saves in a lone match, a record-breaker in the World Cup history. Even if they lost that match against Belgium (2-1), he earned the respect of everyone including Vincent Kompany, captain of their opposing team.

You acknowledged Miraslov Klose 16th World Cup goal in their semi-final match against Brazil, another record-breaker, placing him now on top of the World Cup scorers of all time.

You sympathized with Brazil’s devastating 7-1 loss especially that it happened in their homecourt. The hashtags #WorldCup #BRAvsGER in twitter made an all-time high of 35.6 Million tweets all about a single sports event.

You were amazed with those praiseworthy performances executed by star players, Thomas Müller James Rodriguez,Neymar Arjen Robben, Lionel Messi, and Ron Vlaar all in their respective games.

Your heart skipped a beat when Germany’s substitute player Mario Götze made a goal at 113’ of the extra time obliterating the 0-0 deadlock of the finals and sealed the fourth title for Germany.

You were a witness to this year’s story-filled World Cup.

You were there too when the final whistle of the last match ended the month-long tournament.

What now? What will you do next? Just as when you are at the top of your exhilaration then suddenly the World Cup ends. You don’t know what to feel or think of the subsequent events anymore.

You might go through these like the stages of loss and grief by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross though in a comical and light-hearted way.

Denial

“No, it’s not yet done.” you firmly convince yourself. You Google updates and find it a bit difficult to accept the fact that everything is over. You would check the timeline and trending World Cup topics in twitter to relive the matches most talked about imagining like it just ended few seconds ago. You get excited for a particular hour of the day when games are scheduled then when that hour arrives; there is different show on the TV station or no more livestream connection from the link you bookmarked in your browser. It will definitely be hard at first.

Anger

It’s irritating if you lost a few bucks after losing against buddies over another faulty game prediction. You might have been upset too knowing that some matches will have different results only if this or that player/team did or did not execute what they should or should not. Well, we will always have our own beloved team, and will always have the tendency to play favorites no matter how good the other contenders are. It’s crossing too if the team we promised to love forever lost to a ”lesser” squad ,or was eliminated too early failing to meet in the round we expected them to finish.

Bargaining

Have you ever missed a match or turned off the TV predicting the game will go nil-to-nil, only to read the news articles later that goals were nailed at extra time or kick-offs? Or maybe you’re from a different time zone, but failed to wake up in the ungodly hours and missed the game? When things like this happen, don’t you just wish that time can turn back itself for you to be able to watch that epic game you missed? Although there are available replays and highlights online or on different sports channels, nothing beats the excitement of not knowing what the match result will be.

Depression

Questions of missing the World Cup begin: “When is the next World Cup? How long will be the waiting time? Four years? Four long years? That’s like an eternity?!” Counting down another 1460 days before the opening ceremony of World Cup 2018 is unacceptable. Unfortunately for a sports or a football aficionado, you have to bear with this.

Warning: The denial, anger, bargaining, and depression may persist depending on the depth of your attachment or to how much anticipation you poured to this event as compared to other fans. Of course, it varies.

Acceptance

Finally, after weeks of emotional turmoil brought by your attachment to the biggest football event of the year, you can slowly go back to your normal life. The adrenaline of excitement subdues and your inner sports fanatic waits for another sporting event to fanboy/fangirl over (Premier League will resume in August). You can proceed to your daily routine without being interrupted, and thoughts of the World Cup need not plague your mind. (Except for the occasions when something or someone makes you reminisce those thrilling moments.) Acceptance will happen naturally for you can’t hold on to something that is not in your life anymore. Get over it.

Worry not if those who aren’t football fans find you weird and silly for behaving in such manner. Never will they understand how it feels like to undergo that World Cup Blues if they didn’t experience its bliss in the first place. However, as much as possible, help yourself to conquer these blues, just like how you move on with life after important things or people leave. *sob*See you again at the World Cup 2018 in Russia!

 

Pele, The World’s Greatest Soccer Player

There are many famous soccer players in the world such as Ronaldo and Garrincha from France, Maradona and Di Stefano from Argentina, Zidane from France, Eusebio from Portugal, Puskas from Hungary, Cruyff from Netherlands, and Beckenbauer from Germany. Of all these names, there is one player that stands out from the rest – Edison Arantes do Nascimento. Known by many as Pele, he is considered by many as the greatest soccer player in the history of soccer.

pele-soccer

It seems that God brought me to Earth with a mission to play soccer” – Pele

 

The Early Years

Edison Arantes do Nascimento, aka Dico, was born on October 23, 1940 in Tres Coracoes, Brazil to Joao Ramos and Dona Celeste. His father, Joao Ramos also known as Dondinho, was a local professional soccer player. Like most people, Dico grew up in poverty, but this did not hinder him from exemplifying his talent for soccer. Growing up, he would play by kicking rolled-up socks filled with rags. His friends gave his nickname, “Pele” – a name he despised and did not know why he was called as such.

In his adolescent years, Valdemar de Brito, a youth squad coach and former World Cup player, discovered his talent and convinced him to try out for Santos, a midlevel club team in Brazil. During his time at Santos, he scored 32 goals in his first full season. Because of this, he was selected for Brazil’s 1958 World Cup at the age of 17.

He made his debut in the match against Sweden in 1958. It was Pele’s goal that helped Brazil win past Wales, and made him the youngest player to score a goal in the history of World Cup. 

 

A National Treasure

Pele received enormous amounts of offers from European teams. He also received a million dollar offer from Inter Milan of Italy. This prompted Brazil’s president, Janio Quadros, to declare Pele as a “National Treasure” to make it hard for him to join other teams.

In his 22 years of playing professional soccer, he scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games. He was also the highest paid team-sport athlete with an estimated annual income of $150,000. He was the most famous soccer player in his time, even the Shah of Iran waited three hours to speak with him. His name also came in the list of the most popular brands in Europe, just one rank behind Coca-Cola.

Like most players, his entire soccer career wasn’t smooth. There were bumps along the road, and he suffered massive injuries while playing soccer. In the 1962 tournament in Chile, he sustained a groin injury, but still managed to score a goal in a 2-0 win against Mexico. He tried to hide his injury; however, during the second match against Czechoslovakia, his injury got worse and he was forced to sit out in the final rounds. In his return to the world stage in England, he sustained leg injuries from attacks by defenders of the opposing team, which forced him to be side lined for the rest of the tournament.

Despite his injuries, his legacy continued to grow. In the 1960’s, a two-day truce was declared between Nigeria and Biafra’s war so they could watch him play. In the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Pele scored 4 goals in the tournament, and Brazil won over Italy. This tournament marked Pele and Brazil’s triumphant return.

 

New York Cosmos

In 1974, Pele announced his retirement from soccer. However, Clive Toye, Cosmos’ general manager encouraged him to go back to the field. He said, “I told him don’t go to Italy, don’t go to Spain, all you can do is win a championship. Come to the U.S. and you can win a country.” He signed a 2.8 million dollar, 3-year contract with the Cosmos. His presence in the Cosmos helped make NASL an attraction. In 1977, he played his final game in an exhibition game between Cosmos and Santos. In a speech he made before the fans, Pele asked the crowd to pay more attention to the children of the world.

 

The Legacy Continues

Despite his retirement, Pele’s legacy continues. Pele is considered an inspiration to most people, especially the poor. Journalist Joao Luiz de Albuquerque said, “He was the light at the end of the tunnel. All the poor said, hey, this guy made it, I can make it. He brought the rest of Brazil with him.” In 1978, he was awarded the International Peace Award from UNICEF because of his extensive work in advancing children’s causes. In 1999, he was given the title, “Hero of the Century” by Time Magazine. FIFA named him as the “Player of the Century” in 2000. The title, “O Rei de Futbol” (The King of Football) was given to him by the International Olympic Committee, and last January 2014, he received the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur award.