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Handwritten letter from Pelé, Minister of Sports of Brazil (1998)

Handwritten letter from Pelé, Minister of Sports of Brazil (1998)

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King Pelé, Brazil's Minister of Sports, recounts his observations in eastern Europe to a diplomat friend.

Letter written and signed by Pelé to his friend John Ivan Huscha of the International Monetary Fund. Two pages with yellow colored paper. In English. 21.4 cm x 27.7 cm. October 10, 1998. Excellent condition. Single piece.


(...) Once again I enjoyed your details about your experiences in Russia. (...) some of our group bought expensive Russian fur hats for the winter, our tour guide warned us not to wear them in Samarkada as you could be mistaken for Russian and beaten up by the locals. They have beautiful melons there. Actually little mountains of them rotting away. People in Moscow or Leningrad would kill for one but that big [illegible] country didn't have the structure to get melons to urban markets! Almost all craftsmen working in Moscow were Finns and Swedes under contract.

Koreans, like all Asians, are quick minded but their history over the past 5 [millions?] has been one of almost total subjection to others, Chinese, Mongols, Japanese, etc. Having consequently built angry characters, translate for being denied the use of weapons so they developed very effective attacking [techniques] with hand and foot; Karate, Kung Fu, etc. That coupled with any brutal communist rule made North Korea that much worse. But the [average?] Korean is far more emotional than other Asians. In this way they are a piece of an enigma – a step beyond Kipling's adequate description of the Oriental.

Pelé (born in 1940) became a player for the famous Brazilian football club "Santos" at the age of 15. He played there for almost two decades before going to the United States to play with "Cosmos", where he stayed for three years. The three-time World Cup champion retired in 1977.

At the time of this writing, Pelé was serving as Minister of Sports in Brazil (1995 - 1998). The great content of this letter, where he talks about the difficulties of the Russian and Korean peoples, shows a little-known aspect of his personality: his interest in history, politics and international culture in general.

There are some autographs by Pelé, but due to the star's fame in Brazil, the risk of forgery is high. When they are authentic, the documents signed by the King are usually of poor quality or without content. This letter, handwritten and with surprising content, is extremely rare.

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