Thursday, October 1, 2015

1 October 1977 - The End Of An Era

On 1 October 1977, Pelé played the last match of his outstanding career - an exhibition between his two former clubs, the New York Cosmos and Santos, with Pelé playing one half for each side.

The match was played at New Jersey's Giants Stadium before a capacity crowd of 77,000 that included such luminaries as President Jimmy Carter and Muhammad Ali. After a pre-match speech in which he asked the crowd to chant "love" three times, Pelé played the first half for the Cosmos and the second for Santos.

Santos took the lead with a first-half goal from Reynaldo, but Pelé equalized for the Cosmos off a direct free kick. It was the final goal of his career. At the half, the Cosmos retired his jersey as he exchanged it for a Santos shirt. His replacement for the Cosmos, striker Ramon Mifflin, then scored the match winner in the second half.

When the match ended, several Cosmos players lifted Pelé and carried him around the stadium as he held a US flag in one hand and a Brazilian flag in the other.

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