Published on January 28th, 2014 | by Daniel Boyle1
Pelé Guest of Honour on Rapa Nui
“Football has allowed me to travel the entire world, even here to Rapa Nui,” said Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé. While Diego Maradona has thrown some new barbs at the Brazilian legend, there was nothing to dampen the spirits of the local people as Pelé was joined by Elías Figueroa for a workshop focused on sports entrepreneurship.
While heavy weather did wash out the opening of the new stadium for the remote Pacific island, which is a part of Chilean territory, both of the South American legends were able to share some of their stories about deeds both on and off the sporting field.
The event was organised by Acción Emprendedora, with Santander ensuring that the two legendary players reached the island. The Brazilian looked towards Chile’s tough draw at the World Cup, but claimed La Roja have a chance to go through.
The last time that football came to town was when Colo Colo took on the Rapa Nui squad for the Copa Chile match in 2009. The albos, Chile’s most successful team, went through as 4-0 winners.
As part of the Valparaíso region, the best players of the island will look to link with Santiago Wanderers, the club where “Don Elías” began his professional career.