Tue, March 08, 2011
Sports > Soccer

Pele wants football to be played for love

2011-03-08 02:06:28 GMT2011-03-08 10:06:28(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Brazilian soccer legend Pele poses for the media in front of the Victoria Harbour as he visits Hong Kong March 7, 2011, as part of The 2011 New York Cosmos Asia Tour which includes soccer legends Eric Cantona and Cobi Jones. [Photo/Agencies]

Brazilian soccer legend Pele gestures during a news conference in Hong Kong March 7, 2011, as part of The 2011 New York Cosmos Asia Tour which includes soccer legends Eric Cantona and Cobi Jones. [Photo/Agencies]

HONG KONG - Brazilian icon Pele, one of the greatest football players of all time, warned on Monday that money may destroy a player's career if he forgets to play for the love of the game.

Pele, or Edson Arantes do Nascimento, considered it a big problem as money has been more attractive for professional players than the game itself.

"Some players play only two or three years then disappear, " said Pele, indicating those players love neither the game or the team but the money.

"I think it's good to play for living, for money, but the players should never forget to play for the love of the game, for the love of the team, too," he warned.

The 70-year-old star, paying a rare visit to Hong Kong with the New York Cosmos as the Honorary President, noted the lack of loyalty as one of the negtive effects of money.

Pele, who spent 19 years out of his 22-year career in Brazilian club Santos before ending at the Cosmos from the North American Soccer League (NASL), teased the players who switched clubs frequently with the same presentation of "I love the team", doubting their true feelings for the team.

In his opinion, some agents have to be blamed for the situation.

"They don't care if the players gonna be good or not, they want to sell the players to get their money. This is bad for future football." He claimed.

After retiring from international football, Pele, the only player with three World Cup winning medals, led the Cosmos to the 1977 NASL championship in his third and final season with the club. His exploits helped the Cosmos become the most celebrated club in the United States.

However, the club declined following Pele's retirement and stopped competing professionally in 1985.

In August, 2010, British businessman Paul Kemsley, former Vice President of the Premier side Tottenham Hotspur, announced the revival of the Cosmos and named Pele as the Honorary President.

In addition, Manchester United Player of the Century Eric Cantona was appointed as the Director of Soccer.

The Cosmos senior executives has started a two-year global journey last Thursday in Singapore before stopping in Hong Kong of China.

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