The world’s greatest-ever football player, Pelé, was nine years old when Brazil lost the 1950 World Cup final to Uruguay. The 2-1 defeat shocked the 200,000 fans packed into Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium, and appalled the entire soccer-mad nation. It’s still regarded in Brazil as a national tragedy. Pelé’s father, listening to the radio broadcast, cried. Pelé consoled him: “ No. Don’t worry, don’t be sad. I will win the World Cup for you.”
Fast forward two World Cups, eight years later. Pelé is now 17 (just seventeen!), but he’s picked for the national squad. He plays superbly, and Brazil progress to the final against the hosts, Sweden. “My father always told me, ‘don’t worry, when you step on the pitch, everyone is equal’. That gave me a lot of strength”.