O Globo Editorial Board
Who could have foreseen that a young Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who grew up in impoverished Brazil kicking a grapefruit as a soccer ball, would grow up to become the “King of Football”, world-touring vocalist, and now the prophetic figurehead of his own religion? From meek Edson to vainglorious Pelé now in the running for the IOC presidency: how did his absurd ego come to be?
Constantly referring to himself as the “Brazilian Football Legend”, Pelé has come to international attention during the antics of this year’s Rio Olympics. From asserting his self-coined “Peleism” of the Church of the Latter Day Pelé (sponsored by Pepsi Cola) to his notorious search for the fountain of youth manifest by his increasingly confusing infatuation with a certain Brent Lannister, Pelé’s attempt at building up his legitimacy and his relevance has been haphazard to say the least.
Now with his concert upcoming in amidst of the instability and violence that has characterized Brazil the past month, it seems increasingly apparent that Pelé’s motives in any of his involvements have always been not his self-proclaimed “peace” and “love” for his country, but rather one thing: Pelé.
His undeserving influence in swaying the Brazilian and international public (he has garnered a large following in Beijing as a deity) must truly be seen as a threat to human security--lest we not overlook how his actions directly parallel to the influences of former dictators and tyrants. Pelé’s incessant narcissism has become a danger to mankind, and it is only appropriate that Edson must once again find humility.