Speaking in Hong Kong Pele said:
“I tease the players now, they didn’t love the team, they didn’t love the game, they love the money – because they go to Real Madrid, or go to Santos, or go to Arsenal, or go to Manchester, they presented this ‘I love Manchester’,” he said as he mimicked kissing his badge.
“Tomorrow he go to Madrid he says, ‘ I love Madrid, I love Madrid.’ Pele again mimicked kissing his badge.
“They love who pay little bit more, you know, that’s the danger for the football.”
Pele was in Hong Kong as part of a promotional Asian tour on behalf of New York Cosmos. With A certain Eric Cantona as ‘Director of “Soccer”‘ would it be any surprise if the widely recognised world’s greatest-ever footballer and the United legend shared a mutual disdain for the way Ronaldo left Old Trafford.
The whole “I love Manchester” followed by “I love Madrid” cannot have been aimed at anyone else- unless Pele has some pretty strange views on the way Adebayor left City.
The three time World Cup winner has made no secret of the fact he feels money is ruining the game and as a player who spent much of his career at Santos, when he could have left for a lot more money, a long time before he moved to New York Cosmos, you’d expect him to be unimpressed with the actions of modern footballers.
In the past Pele has never been afraid to criticise individuals who he feels are letting money get in the way of their football, with Ronaldinho recently being on the receiving end of a rebuke. Whether Ronaldo will have taken Pele’s comments as a criticism of himself remains to be seen, whether he’d even care if he did, is doubtful to say the least.
One thing’s for certain, when the most revered man in World football speaks, people sit up and listen.