Pele’s Son Edinho Says Pele “Would Have Been Sad” About Brazil’s Football Struggles
Brazil is facing challenges in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and currently holds the sixth position in the South American table.
Pele’s son, Edinho, told AFP in an interview that Pele “would have been sad” about the current state of the Brazilian national team. This comes days before the first anniversary of Pele’s death on Friday. Brazil is facing challenges in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and is currently in sixth place in the South American table, which is the last spot for direct qualification. The team has been grappling without its key player, Neymar, who is out with a long-term injury after tearing knee ligaments.
Edinho, 53, one of Pele’s seven children, mentioned, “This crisis didn’t appear overnight; there are big and complex problems.”
“We are going through a decline… we still have great players, but in the past, we had more high-level players than we do today.”
Edinho, who was raised by his mother after Pele and she separated shortly after moving to New York when he signed for New York Cosmos in 1975 but grew closer to him in later life, added. “There is no doubt, if (Pele) had been here this year, he would have been very sad.”
Santos, the Brazilian club where Pele spent most of his career, is currently facing a challenging period. They were relegated to the second division for the first time in their 111-year history.
The club is grappling with financial issues and internal conflicts within the boardroom.
“Unfortunately, this is no surprise. Anyone who has followed the daily life of the club could have anticipated such a scenario, and it has ended up happening,” said Edinho, who served as Santos’ goalkeeper for several seasons.
The ceremonies to mark Friday’s first anniversary of Pele’s death from cancer at the age of 82 are expected to be low-key.
The six surviving children of the man widely regarded as the greatest footballer in history will gather for a virtual meeting to mark the moment. Several of them live in the United States. Additionally, a ceremony is scheduled to take place at the mausoleum in Santos, which was opened to the public in May.
Edinho, whose life has faced challenges including serving time for money laundering and drug trafficking, expressed that the charismatic man, who scored 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil, has left a significant void in the family’s life.
“He was exceptional; we miss him a lot,” Edinho said. “He carried our country’s name through football, which we are very proud of.”