(WISH photo)

Indianapolis (WISH) — Indianapolis has a rich history with the late football legend Pele. Indianapolis Children’s Museum It is home to a soccer ball that Pele signed with both his name and nickname. Local fans say Pele was more than just a footballer.

Pele is a name that can stand on its own. Even if you’ve never seen a soccer game, you’ve probably seen the name. For his fellow Brazilian and football fan Junol Zanellat, the name has power.

“Pele’s not just a footballer. He’s more than just the king of football. He’s more than that. He’s more than that,” he said.

Zanerato was born in Brazil and played professional indoor soccer, known as futsal, for several years.He played in America for a few more years and still plays Liga Latina Football Soccer Club, but now calls Indianapolis home. Latin America’s contribution to the growing popularity of football cannot be ignored.

“In Brazil, if someone is good at surfing or sports, they say, ‘He’s the Pele of surfing,'” he said.

(WISH photo)

He says it’s important to remember their highlight reel when looking at today’s standout players. Pele did it first. Zanelatto doubts that anyone in his generation or the next will carry on that legacy.

“Not only Brazil, but all the countries that love football, live football, breathe football, say the same thing. No one better than Pelé,” said Zaneratto.

Pele has dealt with a variety of medical issues over the years, and Zanerat said Pele’s recent hospitalization due to complications from colon cancer made many fear it was the end. Say… His days are over, but he left his mark.

“I know everyone is very sad in Brazil right now,” said Zanellat.

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