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A legend passed away yesterday.  It was not only about how he played the game.  Pelé gave hope to the black, poor, little kid in Brazil, and all over the world.  He put Brazil in the world map.

I was sitting at my desk this morning when a man from another office, that I had met only a couple of times in the hall, came in.

He asked: “Are you my friend from Brazil?” (When I had met him prior I was wearing the Brazil Jersey and he had been so excited about it)

I said yes.  He walked over to me and said: “I have to give you a hug.  I am so sorry for your loss. For our loss!”

I was momentarily confused as I had been engrossed in solving a payroll issue. I thought that perhaps he was referring to Brazil’s loss at the World Cup.

Then he said: “He was the king!”

When he said that, I knew he was talking about Pelé.  He went on to explain that he is from Jamaica and adores everything about Pelé, and consequently Brazil.  He said he once waited in line 12 hours to have a book signed by him in NY City.

Such is the power of Pelé!  He united people and countries, and his legacy will continue to do so.

As a side note, he is outlived by his mother.  Dona Celeste turned 100 years old on November 20!

To Pelé: The soccer world, and specially Brazil, thanks you for your priceless contribution!  Any place you are, may you continue to play the beautiful game!  

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pelé