The King is Immortal! Long live the King!

December 29, 2022

There are characters that go beyond their times and circles... and transcend...

Such occurred to some (not all) Roman Emperors, Greek Philosophers, Renaissance Painters, French Illuminists, Medieval Writers, Christian Martyrs, North American Revolutionaries, Soviet Communists, English Singers, North American Artists, Nobel Prize-laureate Scientists, among other few whose names were known and admired by millions of people all around the world. They personify History through their stories.

In Brazil, rare are the characters with such reach.

And, indeed, no-one ever got close to the phenomenon Pelé.

The poor and virtuous black kid built his name on the beaches of Santos, with dazzling flashes in three successive World Cups and international interclub tournaments. Even without the whole exponential apparatus provided by contemporary social media, Pelé became a global icon.

Even in the face of the inevitable idiosyncrasies of Edson, the man, the name Pelé remained intact in its unanimity in all diverse dimensions of the sportsman. Unquestionably recognized as the apex of football talent within the four field lines, but also applauded as representative of countless causes, agendas and perspectives.

Edson’s death completes Pelé’s immortalization process.

Long live the King, as he is immortal! Long live the King!

Pelé has not had successors... he never will. Icons cannot be replicated.

The prosaic comparison between Pelé and so many others that followed him is innocuous (not to say frivolous in purpose and essence). Obviously, there have been other soccer greats, although not one comparable to him. On top of that, Pelé transcended the soccer fields into another constellation, along with other global-stature stars.

God bless Edson for having given life to Pelé!


Daniel Augusto Motta é Managing Partner e CEO da BMI Blue Management Institute. Doutor em Economia pela USP, Mestre em Economia pela FGV-EAESP e Bacharel em Economia pela USP. É Alumni OPM Harvard Business School. Atua também como Managing Partner da corporate venture capital WhiteFox sediada em San Francisco (EUA), como Senior Tupinambá Maverick na content tech Bossa.etc e com Membro do Conselho de Administração da Afferolab. Também atua como Diretor de Planejamento Estratégico da UNIBES e Membro do Conselho Deliberativo do MASP. Foi Membro-Fundador da Sociedade Brasileira de Finanças. Foi Professor nos MBAs da Fundação Dom Cabral, Insper, FGV, ESPM e PUC-SP. É autor de diversos artigos publicados por Valor Econômico, EXAME, VocêSA e Folha de São Paulo, e também tem três artigos publicados pela Harvard Business Review Brasil. É autor dos livros best-sellers A Liderança Essencial, Anthesis e Data Insights.