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Isa Soares Tonight
Russia Fires Barrage of Missiles at Ukraine; Israel's New Government Sworn In; International Football Legend Pele Dies at 82. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired December 29, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: And a warm welcome to everyone on the show, I am Paula Newton in for Isa Soares. Tonight, a barrage of
Russian missiles in Kyiv and right across Ukraine, Russia seems to be targeting any energy infrastructure to make this holiday week even more
difficult for Ukrainians.
Then, Israel has a new government and Benjamin Netanyahu is sworn in yet again. And rescuers in Cambodia searching for survivors after a huge fire
engulfed a casino and hotel. Details of the horror just emerging. And we are seeing defiance and of course anger in Ukraine today in the face of one
of the largest Russian attacks on the country since the start of the war, and that is definitely saying something.
Ukraine's military says Russia fired at least 69 missiles on Thursday, most of which were in fact intercepted, but the rest hit energy infrastructure
and civilian targets. Now, I want to have you look at these homes in Zaporizhzhia, that's the kind of damage that was inflicted. At least, three
people were killed and seven wounded right across the country, and the missile assault knocked power out in several regions with Lviv, Kyiv and
Odessa particularly hard hit.
Now, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry tweeted, "Russia dreams Ukrainians will celebrate the new year in darkness and cold, but they cannot defeat the
Ukrainian people." Our Ben Wedeman has this report now from Kyiv.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): According to the mayor of Kyiv, 16 missiles were fired in the direction of the
capital, all of them successfully intercepted. But the problem is, even when these interceptions take place, debris falls to the ground.
Here, at this location, you're seeing massive disruption to clear up crews are already here. Police tell us that a 14-year-old girl was injured at
this location, her mother also injured, her mother currently in surgery. Another man nearby was also hurt. Now, this does seem to be one of the
largest attacks by the Russians using missiles and drones according to the Ukrainian government.
More than 120 missiles and drones were fired today in across the country at various cities. Here in Kyiv, 40 percent of the power is out at the moment.
The mayor has called upon people to charge their phones, stock up on water because they don't know when the electricity will be restored in the city
of Lviv, in the western part of the country, 90 percent of the electricity has been knocked out.
In Kharkiv, in the east, we understand that four missiles did successfully hit energy infrastructure, and it does appear that energy infrastructure
was the target of this massive Russian strike. It appears the Russians want to leave this country cold and in the dark just before new year. Now,
according to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, in addition to the drones, 69 of the missiles fired, 54 of them were
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
NEWTON: And we do have breaking news here into CNN, some sad news, of course. Pele, really what many people said was the king of the beautiful
game has in fact, he's passed away of colon cancer at the age of 82. As you can imagine, the kind of reaction that will be coming not just from around
the world, but of course, in his home, Brazil.
This is huge news, you know, he had kept a very brave face from his hospital bed, even throughout the World Cup, and so many Brazilian teams
there and fans of course, who have been watching in the World Cup, look to him, look to him for strength, that his family was by his bedside as we
And he continues really to be the force of so much in that country and Brazil. And of course, two soccer -- football fans right around the world.
So poignant as well as he continued to send his good wishes to the Brazilian team that unfortunately was a bit disappointed with its outcome
in the World Cup.
But nonetheless, want to repeat again, Brazilian soccer legend, Pele, the icon known by one name at this point in time, one word, Pele, dead now,
unfortunately at 82 from colon cancer. He did have a brave but very long struggle with cancer and several other health implications.
I want to bring in our Patrick Snell from "CNN WORLD SPORT", who is going to give us more on this. And Patrick, unfortunately, his family, you know,
had shown these lovely pictures by his bedside, hugging him, and he certainly showed true bravery right to the end. But give us a sense of his
career and the man himself, who as I say, is a one-word icon.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, you said it best, Paula. This is desperately sad news. First and foremost, our condolences of course, to the
family, they have been up most in our thoughts and prayers recently, the man himself, as well, Pele, an icon of the sport, at the age of 82. Such a
courageous life story as well, from the moment he had that surgery for colon cancer, in and out of hospitals over the last couple of years since
But just courageous and determined to -- a thought really, a joy of life as well, you think back to what he achieved as a teenager coming from a very
humble background, growing up close to the Sao Paulo area, playing when he started as a teen, playing with a football made of socks. Just imagine
Goalposts with boots. Not even boots to put on their feet at times with the youth team that he was actually in. But what a story, what an icon of the
sport, he would go on to win the World Cup, the first World Cup, the first of three, Paula, the only player ever to win three World Cups. The first in
1958, when he was still a teenager, 17 years of age.
Just Imagine that, scoring a hat-trick in the semifinal that year at Sweden '58. Then in the final itself, scoring two more goals. His life would
change after that moment, as a raw teenager. He would win another one in 1962 as well as Brazil celebrated back-to-back titles. They missed out on
England in 1966, but back in Mexico in 1970.
He scores again in the final, and Brazil win their third World Cup, quite extraordinary. He embodied the joy of game itself, the joy of life, the
beautiful game, as he referred to it, really football's first global superstar when you think about it, Paula. He really set the way. He set the
trend moving forward. And he has just had such an impact on the sport.
I remember actually meeting him one time, it was back in the buildup to the Germany 2006 World Cup, he was so generous with his time, he was so humble,
the humility, just exuded around him, and it was an absolute pleasure to speak with him, even just for a few minutes.
I got some time with him then and I treasured that for a long time to come. He is going to be solely missed. Generations of grownups loving him,
adoring him, this is desperately sad news, Paula, for the world of football and beyond.
NEWTON: Yes, just from some of the historic pictures that we were showing, Patrick, while you were speaking, and as you said, that you just meeting
him once was so profoundly touched by his impact just as a person and as a player, and what he meant to the game. Now, Patrick, stay with me, but
right now, Don Riddell takes a look back at the extraordinary life of Pele.
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS (voice-over): When the world knows you by just one name, you have truly succeeded. Pele is regarded by many as the
greatest footballer of all time. His humble demeanor and generous spirit have guaranteed his legacy as a global icon.
EDSON ARANTES DO NASCIMENTO PELE, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER OF BRAZIL: This is a big responsibility, you know. I feel very comfortable because
something I cannot answer was why God gave me this, you know, you know, this gift. This was a gift from God, then I tried to be in my best and then
to respect people. I try to prepare myself, I try to be always in good shape. You know, the most important, respect people.
RIDDELL: Raised in the slums of Sao Paulo in the 1940s, Edson Arantes do Nascimento discovered football at a young age. He made his debut for Santos
at the age of just 16, and within a year, he was scoring goals for the Brazilian national team. By this time, he was better known by his nickname,
And in 1958, at 17, he became the youngest man to play in a World Cup final, scoring twice as Brazil beat Sweden.
It was the first of three world titles he'd helped win for his country. He electrified audiences with his fancy footwork and ability to score
seemingly impossible goals. So it was something of a disappointment that his 1000th goal was a penalty.
PELE: A friend of mine is a comic guy in Brazil, he said, listen, God stopped the game because everyone has to see your 1000th goal. That's the
reason it was a penalty kick.
RIDDELL: After his goal, the game against Vasco da Gama was stopped for several minutes to celebrate his landmark achievement. In 1967, Pele
learned that he and his team had the power to stop other things too when their visit to Nigeria prompted warring factions to call a 48-hour
ceasefire in the country's civil war.
PELE: We stopped a war because the people were so crazy for football, they loved football. They stopped the war to see Santos play in Africa. This is
a fantastic -- you know, something you cannot explain.
RIDDELL: By the time Pele retired as a footballer in 1977, playing his final years for the Cosmos in New York, he'd amassed a career total of
1,281 goals. For Pele, that was half a lifetime to go. But his infectious love of the game ensured that he remained relevant. He served as a U.N.
Ambassador for Ecology and the Environment.
He rubbed shoulders with state leaders all over the world, and he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 1997. But who could forget
his appearance in the cult movie, "Escape to Victory".
PELE: Goal, how to give me ball, here I do this, goal. Easy.
RIDDELL: When he starred alongside Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone, playing a prisoner of war who scored a spectacular morale-boosting goal in
a game against the Germans.
PELE: I think first of all, it's a gift from God. Second of all, I think it was a lot of work, hard work and training. And I have to say thanks to
God, because my father was a football player, was a center forward. And then my father was a very known perfectionist. And then everything, who --
I used to do, I tried to do -- he would say, listen, you know, you must be better one day.
RIDDELL: He's always been a global icon, but in his native Brazil, he'll always be regarded as a national treasure. His passing has caused for
national mourning. And as he so humorously put it himself, there will never be another Pele.
PELE: To be the new Pele, will be very difficult because my mother and my father, they closed the machine.
NEWTON: Pele to a tee there really in his last comment. And Patrick Snell is with me now, I want to thank Don Riddell for that really poignant look
back at his life and career. Patrick, I just want to let you know that the statement that we received was in fact from his daughter, Kelly Nascimento
who was at his bedside as we believe for weeks now, his family has been at his bedside.
What she said on Instagram was, "everything that we are is thanks to you, we love you to infinity. Rest in Peace." And Patrick, that can be said of
so many fans, footballers, Brazilians around the world, right? Everything that we are --
SNELL: Yes --
NEWTON: Is thanks to you.
SNELL: Yes, absolutely, you're right. And so emotional, and Kelly has been front and center throughout these last few weeks along with his son, Edinho
as well, posting those very emotional tribute on social media right across this past Christmas weekend as well. But that really capturing the moment,
the essence of who this great man was.
And forever will symbolize, there's no question about that. Widely regarded, without question, as the greatest to have ever played the sport.
The range of his skills, what he could do on the football pitch, the spectacular overhead kicks. And he wasn't the tallest either, he was under
6 foot in height.
And yet, he was prolific in the air, scoring some fantastic headed goals, including in World Cup finals as well. But there's one image, really,
Paula, that resonates with me, and it's from very recently. It's at this past World Cup as well that we had in Qatar. The outpouring of love we saw
there in the Gulf state nation for him.
Because remember, he was actually hospitalized most recently, this actually, this day marking the start of the second month that he would have
begun his period in hospital.
It was during that World Cup he was in hospital in Qatar. The outpouring of love, they were lighting up buildings in his honor in Doha. I recall during
that tournament, and superstar names, past, present as well. I'm thinking of Kylian Mbappe who absolutely idolized -- the French superstar, Kylian
Mbappe absolutely idolized Pele.
Was taken to social media with prayers for the king, that's what he was known as, Paula. Throughout his career, the king of football or the king of
soccer as I said earlier. A very powerful legacy, groundbreaking, and times as well, his humanitarian work after his career as well. The partnership
with FIFA and UNICEF to dedicate to the 2002 World Cup in Asia, to the children of the world.
He really did care about children. In 1994, he was appointed as UNESCO goodwill ambassador as well. He cared about poverty, he wanted to make a
difference, he wanted to break the poverty cycle and children were upper most in his mind throughout his career, and beyond for so long. But I will
remember the joy and the flare, and these are very sad times indeed on this day, Paula, back to you --
NEWTON: Yes, and that smile, right, Patrick? I'm looking at pictures whether they were recently or from his childhood. That smile really could
light up a stadium. Patrick, stay with us, but right now, I want to go to senior sports analyst, Darren Lewis, who is with us as well.
And I want to say, Darren, that this is of course, sad and it's heartbreaking, but it's also a celebration of a sports icon. And everything
that he gave not just to the game, but to his own country, Brazil and to the world.
DARREN LEWIS, SPORTS ANALYST (via telephone): Yes, Paula, I'm really glad you said that, thanks for having me on. Because you are absolutely right,
he isn't just a football legend, he is a sporting icon. And I would suggest every sporting outlet over the next 24 hours and coming days will pay
tribute to the ultimate showman.
The man who brought a smile to faces. A man who signed a football for the U.S. President Richard Nixon at the White House in 1973. Such was his
reach! And a man who, when you think about your favorite players right now, the Lionel Messis, the Kylian Mbappes, and even before them, the likes of
the legendary Maradona.
Everything that they did, everything they thrilled us with, Pele did it before them. But as Patrick was just saying, it wasn't just the fact that
he won the World Cup as a boy, a teenager, a 17-year-old. It wasn't just the fact that he lifted it three times. It wasn't just the fact that he
scored over -- what was 750 goals that were recorded in over 831 games.
It was the fact that he used the power of his platform for good, to speak on behalf of people who didn't have a voice. He realized the power that he
had, and he used it so effectively that he touched hearts and minds around the world. And that is a big part of the reason why this will indeed be a
celebration of his life.
Listen, Paula and all of our viewers know he had been in poor health for some time. His family had been keeping us abreast of developments. But he
would want us to smile. He was always about bringing joy to hearts and to nations around the world. And that is why he does have that 100 percent
Pele is the ultimate footballer, the ultimate showman. The guy who did it before your favorite player did. It's a very sad day, but it's a day to
celebrate, as you say a sporting icon.
NEWTON: Exactly. And I think we will take that tone and tenor forward as we continue to celebrate his life. Of course, the last few months were not
easy for him, Darren, we know that. But I do want to go back to what happened in terms of his life story. In some way, so improbable, right?
And Darren, tell us what that means to, you know, sporting icons of all ages that have come up through what are really quite -- really humbling
background that Pele did, and make it to not just to the top of his game, but as you said, the top of the sporting world from such a humble
LEWIS: Well, they were very humble beginnings because he earned extra money by working in tea shops as a servant. His father, Dondinho, he was a
footballer. And the interesting thing about that was that he actually named Pele after the American inventor, Thomas Edison, but misspelled the name,
so it ended up being Edson Arantes do Nascimento.
But he did indeed come from humble beginning, he was taught to play by his father. He couldn't afford a proper football, he used to play with a socks
stuffed with a newspaper, tied with a string on a grapefruit.
And he was born in Tres Coracoes and in 1940. There is a street named after him. Such was the impact that he had at the time. And he remembered where
he had come from. And he really spoke out and pushed for policies to be put in place to improve the social conditions of the people just like him and
Such was the impoverished nature of his upbringing. But such was the power of his platform every day. So you're right to look back at that, because I
think for the people who love football, they will indeed just focus on the goals. They will indeed focus on the World Cup, the move to New York Cosmos
as well, and the European football clubs that tried to sign him.
But Pele was about the people. He was a champion for the downtrodden, he was somebody who never really forgot his poor upbringing and formed a big
part of the way he viewed the world going forward.
NEWTON: Yes, and Darren, I have to say from all the corners of the world that I have reported from, when you would see young people start a pickup
game of football or soccer, whatever you want to call it, from Venezuela to Yemen, they would tell me, I want to be like Pele. And tell -- isn't that a
great story? One hundred percent true.
I want to ask you for those of us who don't know the --
LEWIS: Well --
NEWTON: Intricacies of the game, you know, let us into why his game was so extraordinary. Why he was so brilliant at it?
LEWIS: Well, he was electrifying on the pitch with his play, scored spectacular goals to become a star all around the world. There is actually
a goal that he scored, and I think it was March 1961, they call it gol de placa, goal worthy of a plaque. He scored against Fluminense, a Brazilian
football club at the Maracana Stadium.
He picked up the ball on the edge of his own penalty area. He ran the length of the field. He dodged opposition players and then he beat the
goalkeeper. There was a plaque afterwards, commissioned with the dedication to the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracana. And he scored
lots of goals like that.
Had there been Twitter, YouTube, the social media outlets to be able to really give his genius justice, we would have a better understanding of
just how brilliant he was. And it's the reason why his genius transcended generations. Patrick, earlier, was talking about the many players of this
current generation who saw fit to pay tribute to Pele during the last World Cup, just gone. They know, they understand.
They were brought up on his mysticism. On his genius. On his ability to enchant audiences. Whether you have a passing interest in football or
whether you know as you were saying, the intricacies -- the intricacies of the game. Pele was an icon. And I would suggest in the coming hours and
days, you won't just get tributes from footballers, you won't just get tributes from people at the very top of football ministration, you'll get
it from sports all around the world.
You'll get it from celebrities. He was -- and it's important to point this out as well. He was the first black global superstar in sport. He was
somebody who transcended so many difficulties as a young man. I remember when watching a documentary about him, and in one of the World Cups he
played in, he was kicked so badly because there was no protection from referees for footballers at the time.
And older men would really round on him because they were frustrated by their inability to be able to keep tabs with him. And at one point, he said
I don't want to play in the World Cup anymore, but he was persuaded, of course, to come back. And my goodness, what an impact he went on to make.
And this is the reason why there will be, clearly, a sadness at his passing. But also, a real celebration, and a chance to pay tribute to a
guy, the likes of which -- even allowing for the likes of Maradona and Mbappe and Messi. We will not see the likes of Pele ever again.
NEWTON: Darren, well said, and we will continue to lean on your expertise in the hours to come as we continue to digest this heartbreaking news that
Pele now dead at the age of 82. But again, we do want to celebrate his life. Darren, standby for us if you will. I want to bring in now our
Stefano Pozzebon joins us now live from Bogota, Colombia.
And Stefano, I really lean on you for the emotional reaction to this on the continent on which you are now and the continent that you are from being
So many reactions. I will say, I've been looking for the reaction of president-elect, Lula, and some kind of official capacity from Brazil,
nothing yet, but sure, a lot of reaction to pour in yet.
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Sure, definitely. These reactions will come, Paula, in the next few hours because Pele was really a player who
transcended the football pitch. He was an icon for Brazil, definitely. But he was also an icon for the entire South American continent. He became more
famous in the 1950s and remained with this aura of the greatest, they simply nicknamed the king in Brazil.
And you can see that this region, for this region, this moment will be a historic moment. We, of course, have been very -- looking very closely at
the hospital in Sao Paulo, the other time staying in hospital in Sao Paulo where Pele was hospitalized since November 29.
And in the weeks coming in and looking for updates, I really held a similar situation to that of when the Pope John Paul II died. I was a young child
in Italy back then, and it was just these people, expectations, a national expectation about these historic moment to happen and to celebrate the life
of a great icon of the 20th century.
Well, Pele was just that for Brazil. He was just that for Latin America, be named the athlete of the century by -- at the end of the 20th century,
served as sports minister in Brazil from 1995 until 1998 and remained an icon. Truly, an icon, a historical figure for the entire region. So you can
definitely expect more reactions to his passing and just signs of grief across this continent. Paula?
NEWTON: Yes, it's so well said, Stefano, especially you comparing him really to a pope in terms of the way he was, and will continue to be
POZZEBON: Yes --
NEWTON: Stefano, I want to ask you, you were just in Argentina as they continued to celebrate not just their World Cup victory, of course, but
that other superstar, Messi. I wonder what you think people would say about comparing anyone to Pele right now, especially given, you know, the
extraordinary outcome of the World Cup for Argentina and for their superstar, Lio Messi.
POZZEBON: Yes, that's definitely true. And there's argument whether Messi is currently the greatest sports icon of our time. One thing I think to
point out is that Pele won the World Cup three times. He's the only athlete to have won the football World Cup three times. But he was also just as
Darren was saying, he was the first real football superstar famous all over the world.
An icon of the sport. A figure that can only be compared to Muhammad Ali or some of the greatest, really, icons. Just calling him just a sports figure
is probably diminutive. And so, yes, there is the debate of who is the greatest of all time, probably some of my friends in Argentina will make a
case for Lionel Messi after their greatest triumph so far just a few weeks ago in Qatar.
But truly, Pele is still the only one who has won the cup three times. And he's truly the first real global icon. Think of what he did to improve the
stand of football all around the world, to make football truly the greatest sport on earth right now, and truly, the unique, beautiful game that is
watched all around -- all around the globe, frankly.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely, Stefano. We were just looking at the last Instagram. I am looking at the last Instagram posting from Pele's account.
And you know, again, love and love forever. That is certainly synonymous with what so many people feel for Pele. Stefano, I have to ask you, in
terms of in his native Brazil -- you know, Darren, before you, and you again said that he transcended the game.
Given so much strife throughout Brazil in the last few years, what do you think it will mean to Brazilians first and foremost? The fact that he has
passed on at the age of 82?
POZZEBON: I think it will be just the passing of an era. The passing of time. It's a moment when you see such a historical figure leaving us, and
you have seen that just a few years -- a few months ago with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom. Is a moment for a nation to come
together and to really reflect on the passing of time.
Pele became famous, as we said, in 1958 with the World Cup in Sweden, was still the greatest football player, playing at the 1970 football World Cup
in Mexico City. So, you can tell that his career spanned -- and then he remained relevant throughout a tumultuous time in Brazil.
He was there before the dictatorship. He was there when the country gained democracy again. He has always been there as the king of football.
So for a nation of 200 million people who have always looked to him at a stable figure, as the one person to go back to as a symbol of the country,
surely, his passing is a moment of reflection and a moment of grievance (sic).
This also, by the way, Paula, comes at a moment when the new president elect, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is due to inaugurate his new presidency
just on Sunday, on January 1st. So you can tell that this week will be full of emotion for Brazil and for the rest of Latin America. It is a historic
moment and perhaps a changing of the guard.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And you are right to mention that. It will be interesting to see how that inauguration, already rife
with controversy, how they are going to deal with that. Plus, what will be an incredible outpouring of emotion for Pele.
Stefano, I appreciate you weighing in here. We will continue to check in with you.
I do want to say that there is an official statement from the hospital, saying that Pele died due to multiple organ failure caused by the
progression of his colon cancer. That is in a statement from the hospital in Sao Paulo. Again, Pele dead at the age of 82.
Stay with CNN. We will have much more for you on his passing right after this quick break.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
NEWTON: I am Paula Newton at CNN Center. Breaking news, sad news, into CNN. Pele dead at the age of 82. He did die of colon cancer, according to
the hospital statement. It was multiple organ failure, caused by the development of colon cancer.
The last few weeks his family have been by his side at the hospital. He has been so brave, especially trying to give any more strength he had left him
to the Brazilian team during the World Cup.
NEWTON: That did not end in a storybook fashion but Pele was certainly right there with them through that during that entire Qatar experience. Now
his country, along with the world, mourns with him. Pele dead at the age of 82.
We want to go to Jamil Chade. He's a Brazilian writer and journalist who is in Sao Paulo for us.
I feel like, you are Brazilian, given that you are Brazilian, I have to give you my condolences, right?
I know how heartfelt this is in Brazil. I was there just a few weeks ago. Give us a sense of what his passing, Pele passing, means to the people of
Brazil, whether they are football fans or not.
JAMIL CHADE, WRITER AND JOURNALIST: Thank you for your wishes. In fact, this is a pivotal moment for the country's history because of politics,
obviously. But obviously, because of the passing away of Pele.
Pele was not only a soccer player in Brazil; he was an icon. He was basically the symbol of a country that could accomplish something
internationally. He was, in fact, Brazil's most successful and most important ambassador ever. He actually forged the image of Brazil abroad.
He obviously had a huge impact, not only in sports in Brazil but in society in the way that people dealt with the fact of being Brazilian. He is an
icon, yes, in the world. But in Brazil, he was obviously one who forged the image of the country and of the people abroad.
NEWTON: I do not have to remind you that these have been difficult years in Brazil. Pele was there by everyone's side. Really a symbol of what could
be for the entire nation. Not just for him as a footballer and a sporting icon. Give us a sense of what that legacy, his legacy, means to Brazil. As
you said, a country still striving in so many ways.
CHADE: Absolutely. We must remember that his first appearance was in 1958, when Brazil, basically, was trying to establish itself as a democratic
country in the conjugal (ph) nations, basically, the world.
So Pele comes in a moment that fits with the attempt of Brazil to place itself in the world. That is basically a huge coincidence but obviously one
that has a huge impact at the same time.
During Brazil's history, the recent history, he has occupied those greatest of sports, for example under (INAUDIBLE) government but he has been also
someone very influential when politics is involved.
Well, basically, by taking a stance, of in a way not politicizing his image, not bringing division into a country that has already huge
disparities and basically presenting himself as a Brazilian. That was one of his biggest, I would say, legacies, to be able to present to all
Brazilians as someone that could represent everyone in this country.
NEWTON: Such an astute insight to learn from you about that, the fact he was able to rise above politics at times when Brazilian politics are, in a
word, divisive. They continue to be. So
We are showing right now a picture of Pele with former president Bill Clinton, with Kofi Annan. We have seen him with Nelson Mandela, which
evokes so much.
In terms of Brazil moving on from Pele, taking that spirit with them, what do you think they will take most from him in terms of being an example and
CHADE: Basically the capacity to establish dialogue. I will tell you a very, very, short story.
When he finished his career in Santos (ph) there was the proposal by cosmos (ph) in New York for him to move to New York. And he was either refusing or
at least hesitating.
A certain Henry Kissinger had to send a telegram basically to the foreign minister of Brazil at the time saying, well, listen, if Pele moves to New
York, it is not only soccer in the U.S. that will flourish but the bilateral relationship between your country in my country, basically saying
CHADE: Absolutely incredible. This is Henry Kissinger, basically asking the Brazilian government to intervene and convince Pele to move to New
York. This was actually what happened later.
So there is a huge symbolism on his capacity to establish dialogue and to be, as I said, an ambassador of the country --
CHADE: -- that every day still struggles to be a nation. Remember, as you rightly said, politics in this country is in a very big, let's say, turmoil
at the moment. It is still very early days to say that democracy won. Let's wait and see.
But when you have a symbol, an icon such as Pele, representing so much, my hope and I'm sure many of us have a lot of hope, that this legacy of
dialogue, this legacy of building bridges will be one of his best, I would say, goals ever scored.
NEWTON: I love the way you put that in perspective so profoundly. Before I let you go we had mentioned that we are in the middle of a transition of
government there in Brazil. These are going to be very careful days, careful steps, careful symbolism the next few days.
How do you think the government-elect of Lula will start to handle that?
He is supposed to be sworn in at the first of the year of 2023. This is going to be a huge outpouring right for Pele in the country.
CHADE: Absolutely. It will be a very emotional week. Pele on one side, Lula coming back as president. Also at the same time the incapacity of the
extreme right-wing elements to be, at least, recognizing that defeat has happened.
So it is a very crucial moment in the history of Brazil. It is a coincidence, obviously. But it's one that will deal with a lot of emotions
and a lot of political skills. You have Lula being sworn in on the 1st of January in a situation that, obviously, as you said, the current government
either refuses or has hesitated to be, at the moment of the transition of power.
It is a country divided; it is a country a lot to deal with in 2023. And now with the situation of this emotional impact of Pele's death. As I said,
I hope -- and this is a personal hook of mine -- that Pele's capacity to dialogue, Pele's capacity to establish bridges with so many cultures in the
world will help the country to deal with its own current situation.
NEWTON: I am sure we all hope that Brazilians meet the moment, the moment of this man and their political future. Jamil Chade from Pele's beloved
home, we appreciate. It
NEWTON: Stay with us. We will have much more on the passing of Pele at the age of 82.
NEWTON: I am Paula Newton at CNN Center with our breaking news: the passing of sporting icon, Pele, dead at the age of 82, from colon cancer.
NEWTON: For now I want to thank you for watching our continuing coverage here of the death of Pele, his passing at the age of 82. I want you to stay
with us. We will have much more of that on the other side of this break.