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Pele weighs in with mammoth memoir

Updated: 2013-10-18 08:10
By Agence France-Presse in Sao Paulo ( China Daily)

Brazilian soccer legend Pele on Wednesday launched a luxury limited edition book documenting his career - and also giving a nod to the Beatles.

"It's very moving to see all of these photos," said the 72-year-old, widely regarded as the game's all-time greatest player, who burst on the scene in 1958 as a 17-year-old to help fire Brazil to its first World Cup.

Unveiled in Sao Paulo, the book, entitled 1283 after the number of goals scored by O Rei (the King), weighs 15 kg and costs 3,600 reais ($1,700).

Only 1,283 copies are being printed of the tome, which contains 500 pictures and 1,283 texts.

Pele said on his Twitter account that looking back at images of his career "makes me think of all the people who loved and helped me during my career - my family, friends, the fans".

The luxury edition of the work contains an iconic signed picture of Pele with a heart-shaped patch of sweat following a game and will be available for a cool $2,600.

"This really makes me well up. It is a legacy I left for Brazil," Pele said, dabbing at his eyes with a handkerchief.

He also related how during the 1966 World Cup in England he missed out on a Beatles show when the band was at the peak of its worldwide popularity.

"A Beatles representative called up saying they wanted to put on a special show for us, but the technical commission vetoed it," he said.

"A while later I met John Lennon and we spoke about it. One of the people then in charge said, 'I'm not going to let those hairy guys in'," Pele said with a laugh.

The book will have an Oct 29 launch in London, with later dates to be set for New York and Dubai.

 Pele weighs in with mammoth memoir

Brazilian soccer legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento - universally known as Pele - cries as he speaks during a media conference for the launch of his book at the Museum of Image and Sound in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday. Vanessa Carvalho / Agence France-Presse

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