The famed Brazilian ex-footballer Pele arrived in Cuba with the club New York Cosmos, which will hold on Tuesday a friendly match with the national team at the Pedro Marrero Stadium.
Pele and the leader of the visiting team, the Spanish footballer Raul Gonzalez Blanco, were hailed by journalists and the public late-night while leaving the Jose Marti International Airport.
The New York Cosmos brought his entire payroll including Marcos Senna at the wheel, born in Brazil and nationalized Spanish.
In an aside to Prensa Latina, Luis Hernandez, president of the Cuban Football Federation, noted that Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) was very pleased to be in Cuba.
In the quick contact we had with him was real satisfied for this trip and for the opportunity to know by first hand Cuban football, sports official said.
Tuesday’s match will serve warm up ahead of the Gold Cup to be discussed in July in the United States, he argued.
The Cosmos Club is the first professional football team of the United States to play in this Caribbean country since 1978, although the American national team played in 2008 in Havana a qualifying match for the World Cup.
Founded in 1970 and registered in the North American Soccer League (NASL League American football), the Cosmos made history in 1975-1984, when he invested large sums of money to hire world stars in their final year career, including Pele, the German Franz Beckenbauer and Dutch Johan Neeskens.
According to the program, on Monday the visiting team will have a training session at the Pedro Marrero stadium, and in the afternoon will offer a press conference in the Melia-Cohiba hotel of this capital.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Cosmos will face the national team of Cuba.