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Against World Cup backdrop, Brazil inaugurates Pele Museum to honor football great

06/15/2014, 1:44pm EDT
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brazil inaugurates Pele Museum

Soccer great, Pele pose for a photo next to young players of the Santos soccer team today during the inauguration of the Pele Museum in Santos, Brazil. ASSOCIATED PRESS

SANTOS, Brazil — The city where Pele rose to fame is honoring its favorite son as Brazil celebrates hosting the World Cup.

The port city of Santos inaugurated the Pele Museum Sunday, with hundreds of dignitaries on hand to toast the Brazilian football great.

The 73-year-old Pele rode in on a tram to wild applause. Visibly emotional, he said the museum was a “dream” and he was proud to represent the city.

Considered by many to be the greatest footballer ever, Pele rose to stardom at Santos FC, where he played between 1956 and 1974. During that period he also led Brazil to three World Cup titles.

The museum houses more than 2,500 items related to Pele’s career, including trophies, jerseys and images of him with world leaders and celebrities.

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