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Pelé demonstrated the appeal of a fair playing field to Brazil.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Brazil’s unparalleled Pelé, dies at age 82. In two decades, he scored 1,283 goals (although the exact number sometimes is disputed) He became Brazil’s most enduring brand, the boyish star with a halogen smile. Pelé was a dancing emblem of Brazilian confidence and aspiration. He declined invitations to run for office or join a party, which suited Brazil’s military junta. His reign coincided with the gutting of democracy in Brazil; it was his bad luck that he was soccer’s “king”.