His name is now almost mythical.
Pele was once the most famous person on the planet who transcended sports. Now that this legend is gone, many flashbacks are happening.
Who better to talk about Pele than former Strikers player Ray Hudson?
“It was like playing God. What was it like playing against God in football boots?” Hudson said Friday. “It was an unbelievable dream for a young man from Newcastle to come to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and play on the same pitch in Fort Lauderdale as Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia, Gerd Müller and Cubijas. It’s magical, not just for me, but for football fans in the region.”
After the game against the New York Cosmos, Pele gave Hudson a shirt. Having spent the last three years of his career playing in his league of North American soccer, Pele has given American soccer a huge boost with its creativity and star power.
“Neymar said the right thing for me. He said before Pele it was football and after Pele it was art,” Hudson said. “He redefined the game itself and brought poetry to it.”
The Strikers were fronted by the Miami Toros, and Pele once played them at Tropical Park. Pele he played a beautiful game in 88 countries.
“He was absolutely loved in every country in the world, for the warmth and generosity of his time,” Hudson said. “But it was on the field and like I said, it was on the pitch that he rampaged through the game like a Colossus. We ate it here in Fort Lauderdale.”