The other Pelè, Abedi Pelè!

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When talking about Pelè we always think of the great one, the won winning three World Cup’s for Brazil, but another one, Abedi Pelè also made a name for himself in football.

Abedi Pelè now 54 years of age, did play alongside Chris Waddle and Jean Pierre Papin in that famous Marseille team of the early 90’s. Pelè joined Marseille from Mulhouse in 1987 and stayed until 1993 when he again moved to Lyon.

He was a bit of nomad Abedi Pelè, not like the other Pelè who stayed at one club, Santos, during all his career, if you count out his NASL comeback with New York Cosmos.

Abedi Pelè was a gifted player and few could really understand that Marseille, during his time there, was loaned out to Lyon. The route to stardom was also one not easy, starting his professional adventure with Al Sadd in Qatar. After just eight league games an a great number seven goals scored, he made his next switch. FC Zurich came in for Pelè and a move happened. His stay in Switzerland was short lived and again a new and almost destroyable move to Benin came next.

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No one really had noticed a 21 year old Ghanaian with the name of Pelè at this time moving around in international football on a journey that looked like one very unknown to big arenas and the top clubs of Europe.

A switch at the age of 22 made it possible to join French club Niort and from this day back in 1986 things started to happen. Pelè came to the right league and got noticed with Mulhouse the next step in life, and just a year after Marseille came in for him and he started to flourish alongside some of Europe’s best players.

After a long run of games for the club, winning the league in France and a number of cups as well, being noticed around in Europe playing in the Champions League made him a favorite for many and he was often compared to the other Pelè and that the World had found a new one.

After a runners-up Champions League medal won in 1991, with Chris Waddle and Jean Pierre Papin in the team alongside Pelè, he had to wait another two years before entering the final again, this time it was no one settling for a losers medal.

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The fact that favorites Marseille in this final lost to Red Star Belgrade in a disappointing affair, made them even more eager to win this next one against AC Milan. Waddle and Papin had both left Marseille, Papin even in the opposite team in this final, coming of the bench, but again being on the losing side.

Pelè now in a team with Didier Deschamps and Rudi Voller makes them memorable winners of the Champions League with Marseille. A tight 1-0 win after a goal from legendary Basile Boli, settles the score against Fabio Capello and his team.

Pelè makes a new switch after the 1993 and joins Lyon, shortly after he makes a new move this time to Italian club FC Torino. His days in Serie A are also good, playing 49 league games and scoring 11 memorable goals.

Pelè makes a couple of moves more, first to 1860 Munich and later to Al Ain were he finishes his playing career at the age of 36. During his playing career he also represented his country Ghana at full internatioal level on 73 occasions scoring 33 goals.

Pelè has since his retirement from playing in 2000, been involved in football and especially in his home country were he today is president, part owner and first team coach for the club named Nania.

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