It was for the original Run of Play blog that I once wrote this on Pele as a human being:
Pelé—one of the greatest players the game has and will have ever seen—played football in real life. The surprising drabness of O Milésimo stands as a rare, but much-needed reminder that genius like Pelé’s couldn’t be conjured up on a whim. It cannot be captured in a Wikipedia entry or romanticized by a drug addiction. It isn’t an ineffable Platonic form. It came in the lived moments of a man content to play a game he loved while still insisting on being his embarrassing, affable self, always that weeping seventeen-year-old kid the world fell in love with in Sweden some fifty-two years ago.
(H/t Gareth Simpson).