The Story Of When Pele Got here To Lebanon, With 6 Iconic Photographs

In April 1975, soccer legend Pele arrived in Beirut as a part of a world exhibition tour together with his crew, the New York Cosmos.

His go to to Lebanon got here simply days earlier than the beginning of the Lebanese Civil Struggle, and his presence on the Camille Chamoun Stadium drew over 35,000 followers for a pleasant match between native facet Nejmeh and a French college crew.

Pele seen carrying the standard Lebanese headwear, Labbadeh. (by way of OLJ’s archives)

Based on L’Orient Le Jour, Pele performed solely the primary half of the sport, beginning in objective earlier than transferring to his regular place in assault.

Regardless of his presence on the sphere, Nejmeh finally gained the match 2-0, with targets from Youssef Ghoul and Ahmed Chatila.

The evening earlier than the match, round 100 journalists crowded into the Vacation Inn Ballroom for a press convention with Pele, the place he answered their questions.

Pele taking part in towards the French College Staff

The now-defunct Each day Star described the press convention as “jampacked” and reported on the sport, saying that Nejmeh’s win was “well-deserved” and impressed by Pele.

Along with his time on the sphere, Pele additionally held a two-hour coaching session on the American College of Beirut’s Inexperienced Area throughout his weeklong go to to Lebanon, assisted by coach Julio Mazzi and 44 younger soccer gamers.

Pele throughout a press convention at Vacation Inn Lodge

Pele’s go to to Beirut and his becoming a member of of the Cosmos was partly the results of US political intervention.

Nejmeh crew with Pele (Supplied by Jamal Khatib to OLJ)

Upon information of Pele’s demise, Lebanon’s soccer affiliation tweeted a tribute to the soccer legend, calling him “King Pele” and crediting him with taking the game to a different degree.

ساهمت برجليك بآخذ كرة القدم إلى مستوى آخر 👑
وداعًا ايها الملك بيليه 👋


Pele handed away on December twenty ninth, 2022 on the age of 82.

All photos, except in any other case famous, are sourced from OLJ’s archives.

If you wish to study the spoken Arabic language, then head to the Lebanese Arabic Accelerator to study extra! Lebanese Arabic Accelerator

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