What I am today is a result of all the advice I have received right from the beginning, before I had even played in a proper game. I have been helped by my trainers, the older players and my parents. Listen to the advice of your elders; they are always more experienced than we are. Also listen to any tips from your friends. I’d like to tell you something which I have learned from people: you don’t learn faults by looking or listening, they come from you, yourself.
If you become great, do your best to show why you are considered to be so good; if you only reach the level of a reserve player, then show that you are the best in that category.
Be a man, in failure and success. Only this way can you achieve personal dignity and earn the respect of your fellow men.
Never think that you know everything. There is always more to learn and every day we get to know something new.
Before becoming a soccer player, you should be an athlete; and before becoming an athlete, you should be a man.
Always be yourself! Don’t try to imitate anyone or to be like someone. Create your own individual style. Don’t try and make yourself a ‘Pele’. It is much more important to be yourself than Pele.
Never neglect your studies because of soccer or any other sport. You should organize your life so that you can satisfactorily spend enough time on both activities, or more.*
If you find that you cannot become a reasonably good soccer player, don’t be discouraged. Face life optimistically, because even if soccer has lost a good player, society might have gained a great man who can help his country in other ways if he is disciplined, confident and works hard.
No matter where he is, in the country or in the city, a man who really cares about the future of humanity and believes in Sport, Communication and Love must help to unite everyone in the world!
Dear friends, I hope that the advice I have given you will be as useful to you, in soccer and in life, as it has been to me.
May God be with you!
From your friend,
* You have probably heard that I stopped studying to play soccer. Well, it’s true. At that time of my life I had no idea how important education was; I even thought soccer was everything! Now I completely understand why my mother, Celeste, always used to say: “Pele, leave that ball alone for a while. Come and do your homework.” You know that, in spite of this advice, I spent all my time and life on soccer. Many years later I realized how right my mother had been! I had to study. Soccer was not enough. I completed my schooling and then took a higher course in Physical Education. So I’m telling you once again: education and soccer are compatible. You can study and play at the same time and be a success in both fields. I’ll go even further – not you can – you must!