In the middle of the group phase of the World Cup, the Museum in Santos was introduced. There are a total of 2,545 pieces on display that tell the story of the greatest Brazilian soccer idol.
In the middle of the first phase of the World Cup that is taking place in Brazil, this museum opened its doors following an investment of 50 million reals—22.7 million dollars—and six years after the project was started by the soccer player, different governmental authorities, and 28 private donor companies.
As it was revealed, various cities were arguing over this museum project, and it was Pele himself who asked that it be built in the city that is the headquarters of the Santos Club where the former soccer player played for the largest part of his life and where he was the intercontinental club champion twice.
The Pele Museum has 4,134 square meters and has interactive participation areas. In addition, it has space for seasonal exhibits, like “4 Cups and 1 King.”
This museum was build in a mansion that was in ruins in Valongo, one of the oldest and most traditional areas of the city, on the coast of the state of Sao Paulo that is home to the largest port of Latin America.
During the inauguration, a video was projected that was sent by President Dilma Rousseff—who cancelled her presence at the last minute—where the leader of Brazil pointed out that the building is not just a great acknowledgment for Pele but also “an important symbolic act for Brazil.”
“Here, we will perpetuate the memory of one of our most distinguished citizens at the same time that, here in Brazil, we are organizing the World Cup, the greatest event of the sport, and we are transforming Edson Arantes do Nascimento into our King Pele,” affirmed Rousseff, referring to the best athlete of the 20th Century.
The head of state also said that “all the visitors deserve to know about the deeds of the player who scored 1,281 goals in his career and who ended up being the best forward in the history of soccer.”
Excited, and with difficulties expressing himself, Pele was thankful to be alive and healthy to receive this homage and remembered his first trip with the Brazilian team, when he was 17, to the World Cup in Sweden during 1958.