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Pelé as journalist: $1,000 per article on World Cup ’70

Pelé also had a brief stint as a journalist. The Brazilian star joined forces with the EFE news agency during the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Pelé also had a brief stint as a journalist. The Brazilian star joined forces with the EFE news agency during the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

The world of sports is in mourning. On Thursday afternoon, Dec. 29, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known worldwide as Pelé, died in a hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, after losing the fight against colon cancer.

Considered by many to be the best footballer in history, with a legacy of more than a thousand goals and three World Cups, Pele has a little-known facet: the Brazilian star was a journalist for a certain period of time.

Pelé as a journalist

According to official information from EFE, O Rei was a journalist of the news agency at the age of 29, during the World Cup in Mexico in 1970. While his career in this field was brief, Pelé left an indelible mark on the company.

In 1968, EFE opened its first office in Rio de Janeiro under Eleuterio Romero. A year later, Carlos Mendo, director of the company, suggested that Romero look for Pelé to achieve some kind of collaboration.

Romero did not hesitate to go to the player’s hotel and ask for an interview.

“He replied that he charged 1.000 dollars. I told him that a player of such prestige would surely not only know how to kick a ball, but also know how to think, and I offered him to write five articles for EFE about the next World Cup in Mexico ‘70″, recalled Romero.


The deal: $1,000 per item

The Brazilian accepted the offer of EFE but with two conditions: to charge $1.000 dollars per article plus the payment of the corresponding taxes. Romero thought it was an excessive agreement and refused, but he didn’t give up.

Romero stood in the club’s offices with the aim of having a new conversation with the player. A day later he found him, but he was in a hurry as he had to take a math exam. Pelé looked at him and asked, “Do you know about mathematics? Could you help me?”

Romero recalls explaining some concepts to the King, who then left for the test. After three hours he returned with a smile on his face. “I passed!” he said. After the success in his test, Pelé chatted with Romero about the proposal and finally both agreed to a payment of $1.000 per item for the World Cup.

The player wrote a total of five articles analyzing the teams of the global competition, while EFE sold those publications to 40 exclusive media outlets. “The agency paid 5.000 and earned 35.000. It was a success,” said Romero.


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