With NBC’s new deal with the Barclays Premiere League, the jokes about American football and European football basically all wrote themselves but that’s as close as the two worlds came to ever colliding with one another. But while we all keep the world of soccer and football separate, legendary player Pele recently mentioned that he was almost involved in what would have been an iconic crossover between the two sports.
Pele reveals that when he retired form his legendary soccer career, the New York Giants extended an invitation to him asking i she’d tryout to become their new kicker. Pele accepted the invitation but ultimately declined the offer.
The Brazilian great says he was asked to join the NFL team after he “did well” in a few tryouts. But he decided not to accept the invitation because he didn’t want to take on more responsibilities at the time.
The 73-year-old Pele said in an interview with ESPN Brasil in New York that kicking was “wasn’t too hard for him,” but he didn’t want to return to sports after a long soccer career.
Had this crossover happened, Pele likely would be even more iconic than he already is and it may have even helped change soccer relations among sports fans much sooner. We’ll never know what would have happened if Pele had accepted the offer, but it’s a fun idea to ponder.