Pele’s heritage in the game has never been questioned, but today it’s the biggest social media and video game challenge that’s so influential for new generations of football lovers. Nevertheless, the greatest player Brazil has ever produced remains a landmark light for the country’s youth. A typical example is Kaio Jorge. Although O Rei retired 25 years before the birth of the young striker, he is his main source of inspiration at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 ™.
On Wednesday, the Seleção No9 brought this inspiration with a match win in the knockout round of the host country against Chile in Brasilia and bundled in the 3-2 win two goals of his team. After leading a free-kick into the back of the goal with unfailing accuracy, he converted a penalty and even eliminated the third goal from VAR.
After announcing in a recent interview that Pelé is his favorite player, Kaio confirmed in a post-match chat with FIFA.com his preference for the Brazilian legend over today’s stars: “I have a lot about him and everyone who cares know about football, heard in Brazil knows that he is our king. I just have to idolize him because he is incredible. “
The 17-year-old was twice in the presence of the legendary striker who won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 FIFA World Cup ™. As a youth player with Santos, the club for which O Rei played with such distinction, Kaio lives and breathes his legacy with one of these encounters at an event in the city’s Pele Museum.
The hard-fought victory against the Chileans was Brazil’s hardest game yet at this tournament, in which Kaio proved his authority. “It’s a very tough competition and there are no easy games,” he said following a draw in which Chile had taken the lead just before half-time. “We started well, but we switched off towards the end of the first half.”
The striker threw a free-kick into the corner with his first goal, guarded by Chilean goalkeeper Julio Fierro. “I’ve done free-kicks since my U-11 time and then stopped,” Kaio said. “I’ve been training them a lot lately, we talked about their goalkeeper moving a lot before the match, sure enough, I saw him slide over and put him where he came from.”
Although pleased with his team’s safe passage into the final eight games, Kaio’s delight was tempered by the sight of striker Talles Magno, who suffered a thigh injury at the end of the game that was so heavy that he could be carried off teammates.
Although Kaio has no idea who will attack with him in the quarter-finals, he knows that he will not lack support from the stands. Like his teammates, his family cheers him on in Brazil in 2019. His cousins and grandparents came from Recife, the city where he was born.
His mother Atenas Karina and his father Jorge Ramos started the journey from Santos. They have brought a homemade banner with Kaio’s face, the Brazil flag, and the Santos badge, visible proof that the colors that Pele once presented with this award are identical to those of his loyal fan Kaio.