World Football - Pele set for stunning comeback

Wed, 05 Oct 13:07:00 2011

A whole generation of football fans have grown up rueing the fact that they were too young to see Pele play, but it appears as though the football legend will make a remarkable comeback to the professional game at the age of 71.

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Pele, currently 70 years of age and who scored his 1,281th and final goal in 1977 before ending arguably the greatest career in the history of the game, will play in the 2011 Club World Cup for Santos if the Brazilian club have their way.

Santos will celebrate their centenary next year and having already convinced Neymar and Ganso to shun interest from Europe in order to retain their best players, they are now plotting to involve football's greatest ever striker as they take part in the December 8-18 competition for continental champions.

Club president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro says he has convinced coach Muricy Ramalho to allocate a place in the squad to Pele, and is now awaiting final confirmation from the man nicknamed 'O Rei' (The King) as to whether he will take part in the competition in Japan, which will feature Barcelona.

"Pele was positive and promised to 'train to get fit and participate in a few minutes', if possible," Ribeiro told Radio Globo.

"I have talked to Muricy. Now the only stumbling block is Pele. He will be registered with the No.10 shirt."

The president added in a separate interview: "At the time of my speech [to the Santos board], it struck me that Pele was a three-time world champion with the national team, but only twice with Santos.

"Now, 48 years later, he will have the opportunity to be a three-time world champion at club level also, as part of the Santos team."


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