The article, “Pelé in the United States: Stories of his influence, kindness and humility from those who knew him”, written in The Atlantic by Pablo Maurer provides insight into the character traits of Pelé. Often considered one of the best soccer players in the world, he played 64 NASL games for the Cosmos in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Maurer interviewed several of Pelé’s teammates and friends for personal accounts of his character. Maurer’s article displays the influence of Pelé in the sports world, including his humility and generosity. An example of this is an interview with Charles Martinelli, the Cosmos equipment manager. Martinelli states, “I spent many hours and many days with him. He was the humblest person to talk to, and he was so truthful to loving people. He was a saint in my opinion, and he might be the greatest player of any sport, ever.” Maurer also discusses Martinelli’s broad memorabilia of the player, showing the influence he had on Martinelli’s life as a friend and teammate. This gives the feeling of how much Pelé and his memories mean to people, especially to those who knew him.

I had not realized how powerful the influence Pelé had and still has on people’s lives prior to reading the article. I knew very little him, only that he was an incredible player. Maurer does a great job providing a view into Pelé that many do not get to see. Maurer includes Pelé’s involvement in his own soccer camp for youth, painting a caring and kind image of him. I did not realize how down to earth this mega star was, especially when using his accomplishments to benefit others.

I was also surprised to see that the primary reason that the NASL wanted to sign Pelé was to bring more popularity to soccer in America. I did not realize Pelé heavily influenced the success of soccer in the United States, as well as other countries in the Americas.