The greatest goalscorer of all time failed to score in a friendly for renowned Brazilian club Santos in Dubai
Brazil’s Pelé beats Venezuela’s goalkeeper Fabrizio Fasano in a 1969 match in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. – AP file
Pele, arguably the greatest footballer of all time who won three World Cups with Brazil, has died aged 82.
The first of those three World Cups was held in 1958, when he was just 17, captivating the world with a dizzying array of tricks and predatory goal-scoring instincts.
The Brazilian was ruthless in the box and ended up scoring over 1,000 goals in his career.
No other player in the history of the sport has won so many World Cups and scored as many goals with such vigor as Pele.
But the sport’s greatest ever goalscorer failed to score in a friendly in Dubai for famed Brazilian club Santos.
In 1973, the star-studded Santos took on Dubai’s Al Nasr Club in a friendly.
Santos has several stars from the 1970 World Cup winner Brazil.
When the reporter met former Al Nasr midfielder Mohammad Alqus at an event at the UAE headquarters where Pele was unveiled as a global ambassador for the world’s leading airline in 2014, the veteran Emirati footballer recalled How the Brazil legend failed to score against his Dubai club.
In 2014, Pele watched two fans wearing custom Pele T-shirts at a special screening of the iconic Brazilian player’s greatest moments at his headquarters in Dubai, UAE. – AFP file
In 1973, Al Khous was just 16 when he played against Pele and his Santos team in that friendly.
“I remember that day very well. I played that game. I was lucky to play against the biggest club team in the world at the time. It was an honor to play against players like Pele, Edu and Carlos Alberto, ‘ Arcus told us.
“We lost 4-1, but we were lucky to score at least one goal! Pele didn’t score, but he played well.”
Pele and his Santos team played numerous exhibition matches around the world. Yet the Brazilian never forgot his time in Dubai.
“He still remembers that game. When I was talking to him today, he asked me the name of the player who was marking him,” Al Khous told us.
“I was playing in midfield and had a good idea of what Pele did,” recalls Arkus.
“He’s right behind the striker, making those tricky moves. His tight control is amazing. When I play him on the pitch, I feel guilty admiring him!”
The Santos players were treated like Hollywood stars during their stay in the UAE.
“They were here for three days. We met them a few times. We had pictures with all the big players. It was like a carnival,” he said.
“There are so many people who come to see them. Not only do they want to watch them play, but they are interested in everything about them. They want to see how they eat, how they move, what they do in the hotel! They are the largest in the country. attractions.”