At the tender age of 4, a young boy moved to an apartment complex in Germantown, Tennessee. Unaware of the world of soccer, he stumbled upon two children his age, joyfully kicking a ball in the complex's grassy field. Enthralled by the game, an insatiable desire to join the action ignited within him.
Hailing from a region where soccer was virtually unknown, the young boy's intrigue pushed his father to enroll him in a recreational soccer league. The journey to his first game was marked by a simple yet profound question from the boy to his father - "Who is the greatest soccer player ever?" The name that resonated, the only association with the sport, was the legendary figure of PELE.
Reflecting on those moments, the man humorously ponders how his life might have been different had PELE represented a different nation. Fascinated by Brazilian culture through his idolization of PELE, his infatuation with the country's music, food, and lifestyle took root, shaping his future.
His early school days became a portal to Brazil, marked by incessant book reports on the country's vibrant essence. However, his dedicated fascination was eventually intercepted by a teacher who steered him toward a different literary journey with "Charlotte's Web."
Nevertheless, the die was cast - Brazil and soccer became an intrinsic part of his daily life for more than two decades. Fast forward to his high school years, where the pinnacle of his dream approached – a summer in Brazil to train, a dream come true for the budding enthusiast.
Immersed in the heart of Brazil, he found himself amid the maestros of the game, honing his skills under the samba's rhythmic sway. Training sessions at a local orphanage were marked by a resounding cheer from the children lining the streets, chanting the only English words they knew, "Blakey Blakey, what's your namey?!"
The crowning moment arrived when local news stations captured his story. The young man, all six feet and a hundred pounds of him, found himself on TV for the first time, an indelible memory etched in the annals of his journey through Brazilian soccer culture.
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