Pele jokes about playing for Brazil at the Olympics, Brazil wishes he wasn’t joking

Pele recently spent a few days in intensive care following complications from a urinary tract infection that afflicted him after surgery to remove kidney stones (interesting fact: Pele had one of his kidneys removed near the end of his playing career). The 74-year-old Brazilian legend has since been released from the hospital and took the opportunity to reassure the public of his health. And declare his availability for the 2016 Olympic team.

From the BBC:

He told a news conference: “I’d like to thank the doctors that took care of me. It was a real fight.

“I would like to thank God – and all friends that have sent me messages and were worried about me.

“It was something I was not expecting, but I was not afraid to die.

“I’ve had messages from China, Pakistan, from almost all the European countries.

“It is gratifying and good to know that I had the support of so many people around the world who were hoping the situation improved.”

Pele continued with a joke, adding: “Now I am preparing for the Olympics. Three professionals can play in the Olympics and I’m one of the three!”

“…ple…please?” replied all of Brazil, still reeling from the disaster that was their World Cup performance.

If this doesn’t start an earnest campaign to get a 74-year-old man with one kidney on the Olympic team, then clearly Brazil has completely given up on football.


  1. Ariel Paulo says:

    Olympic football tournaments were never really important since squads were never allowed to display their main teams (unless the one considers the ‘totally amateur’ teams of the Iron Curtain up to 1952-1956). You may think I say that because I’m Brazilian & we have no olympic gold medals – but that’s the truth. The Olympics – as long as that happens – will always be a 2nd rank tournament. A good consolation tournament for Argies. 😀

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