Pele and Diego Maradona they met in 1979, in a meeting promoted by the magazine El Gráfico: the Brazilian was already starring in his “farewell tour” at the Cosmos, in the United States, and the “10” showed his heir credentials in Argentinos Juniors. The story would later bring that tension of both, sometimes silent, sometimes not, in claim of a throne that for many they shared.
As would happen some time later between Diego himself and Lionel Messi, perhaps as it happened before between Pelé himself and Alfredo Di Stéfano, the comparison never went anywhere, lost in the impossible corner of emotions and contexts.
Pelé played the guitar in that first meeting and played it again many years later as a special guest on “La Noche del 10”, the program that Diego did for a season on Channel 13. That time the Brazilian sang: “You want to be me, I I want to be you.”
Diego responded with “El sueño del pibe” and the modified lyrics: “I will earn money. I will be a Maradona, a ‘Bati’, a Pelé.” It was 2015, the unprecedented televised diplomacy of “Pelusa”.
Before the end of the program, a historic broadcast of an unforgettable cycle, Diego invited him to one last dream: to make “a head”.
They did it. There are the images, within everyone’s reach.
Furthermore, Pelé used to reproach Diego for his ways, his verbiage, the disorder of his personal life, those things; Diego attributed to Pelé a certain closeness to the power of FIFA, a tendency to remain silent in the face of injustice. That in addition to asking for himself, each one, the throne of football of all time.
What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still a lot to be said, but for now, may God give strength to the relatives. One day, I hope we can play ball together in each other. pic.twitter.com/6Li76HTikA
— Pele (@Pele) November 25, 2020
At the table of the greatest they are safe. With Di Stéfano, with Messi, perhaps with one last member: the Dutchman Johan Cruyff.
But, in the middle and as it was reflected in those meetings -at the extremes of their relationship-, there was always affection and respect.
On November 25, 2020, the day Diego passed away, Pelé wrote: “Sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. May God give strength to his relatives. One day, I hope we can play together at the ball up there in the sky”.
Maybe they’re already on it. Here is the heaven of tears, goals and memorable emotions that both, in their own way, built.
Maradona’s family paid homage to Pelé in the name of Diego
The family of Diego Maradona paid tribute to the Brazilian legend Pelé, who died this Thursday in the city of São Paulo, with a message on the official account of the Argentine star on Instagram.
“May you rest in peace ‘O Rei’ Pelé. That’s how we will always remember you”were the words published together with a photomontage that shows the face of the Brazilian next to the image on the day of the consecration in the 1970 Mexico World Cup.
Since Diego’s death, on November 25, 2020, the Argentine star’s Instagram account, with 7.6 million followers, has been in charge of his children, who use it to express themselves in the face of transcendental events and also to remember events of his sports career.