The Brazilian legend will inaugurate a soccer ground in Rapa Nui, the 27th of January. “It’s very important for us,” said Pedro Edmunds, the mayor of the island.

Pelé visits Easter Island

Pelé, during a former visit to Chile | © La Tercera

The 5th of August of 2009 is an unforgettable day for the people of Easter Island. That day, the local soccer team faced Colo Colo for the Copa Chile in a match catalogued by FIFA as “The Game of the Century”. Now, football is an excuse for another party at the Polynesian enclave, which will feature a deluxe guest: Pelé.

Despite the 4-0 win for “Cacique” on the locals, that winter of 2005 began to develop the realization of an old desire of the islanders. Having a real football stadium. And it is with this objective that the Brazilian, arguably the greatest player of all time, will visit Rapa Nui for the first time.

“We are very fond of football and the truth is we’ve never had the conditions to play properly. In fact, in order to play against Colo Colo, we could not use the field for more than a month so that it was in good conditions” says Roberto Araki, local selected.

The opening of the new complex, which has cut track, synthetic grass and capacity for three thousand people, begins this weekend with a match between the A team and the B team of Rapa Nui.

The great celebration, however, to which is also invited President Sebastián Piñera, will be on January 27. “Pelé gladly accepted and is excited to go to one of the most isolated places in the world and give a tremendous joy to all the inhabitants of the island,” said John Thomas Oyarzun, marketing assistant manager of Banco Santander, the bank which organized the visit of  “O Rei”.

“We are proud that Pelé come to such an important event for us. Let’s celebrate the whole  semester for its historical importance. We have been waiting for more than 30 years”, says Pedro Edmunds, the local mayor.

The visit includes a series of activities. Upon arrival, local players themselves will make a ritual of welcome. He will also have a tour of the typical places in the area and, before the game, Pelé will witness a Amu Tahu, an ancestral ritual in which the Rapanui people ask for the Mana, which is the power to face the challenges.

Source: La Tercera