In June, Santos City in Brazil inaugurated a new museum to celebrate Pelé – the local treasure regarded as the best football player of all time. A three-time world football legend who won the International Olympic Committee’s title of the “Athlete of the Century” and a number of other recognitions that are uncountable.
Located in Santos’ Valongo neighborhood and housed in a historic mansion, the Pelé Museum displays a collection of 2,400 pieces that Pelé has amassed within a life span of 73 years. The collection not only spans the entire duration that Pelé impressed the world with his football skills on the pitch, but it also goes a step further. From the award-winning best player of 1970 World Cup to the shoe shiner box that he often used to collect money during his childhood, the Museum undoubtedly holds objects that have sentimental attachment to the fans.
Odir Cunha, a journalist and the Museum curator, says that the visitors will get an overview of Pelé as an idol, a myth, and player, as well as his role in football and Brazil. Besides allowing visitors to interact directly with Pelé, the technological devices complement the historical pieces that narrate the story of a small kid, who was born in Tres Coracoes, and raised in the state of Sao Paulo.
The museum opened its doors with a unique collection of four cups to complement the permanent exhibition. The unique collection will also narrate the story of participation of Pelé in the four World Cups between 1958 and 1970 when Brazil won all of them except for the 1988 one, which was played in England.
The management has also secured a space for 1950 World Cup in this first exhibition even though Pelé did not get a chance to display his skills here since he was hardly ten years old then. All the same, the World Cup meant a lot to Pelé since after seeing his father in tears with a humiliating defeat of Brazil at the Macarena, he promised him that he would deliver the cup to him. This promise saw the light of day when in 1958 Brazil went ahead to win the World Cup in Sweden - with the help of Pelé of course.
Cunha said that the Museum displays little-known scenes of the first Brazilian World Cup. The inception of the Museum is paramount. Luiz Guimaraes, Santos Secretary of tourism, said that the Museum opening will be a turning point in the city’s history. It is expected that many tourists will flock the Museum as one of the country’s primary football attractions.