Set for November 21st, the stadium will change its field fútbol to football to host a clash between the Raiders (7-2) and the Texans (6-3), two of the AFC’s top performing teams so far this season.
Nearly 77,000 fans are expected to attend the event, bringing in nearly 22 million dollars in revenue for Mexico City. The game is the first of three apparent games the NFL has agreed to bring to Mexico, however that all depends on how well the November 21st game is received. Mexican Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid explained at a recent press conference, the continued relationship between Mexico and the NFL is “subject to the results of the first [game].” Mexico knows how to show people a good time, and we’re expecting this game to be no different.
Netflix continues to churn out powerful films in countries around the world and their latest venture, a look into the life of Brazilian footballer Pelé is another hit. Sure, Pelé may be considered the world’s best soccer player ever but his place in Brazilian history is less clear – at least according to the new doc.
Filmmakers David Tryhorn and Ben Nicholas spent hours in Pelé’s company interviewing him on everything from a childhood spent in poverty to his numerous affairs and his controversial relationship with the authoritarian regime that ruled Brazil during his playing career. Here are some of the key takeaways from this must watch documentary.
Pelé was criticized for not taking a political stance during Brazil’s authoritarian regime.
In 1964, the Brazilian military staged a coup, which led to a dictatorship being established in the country that lasted until 1985. The military government relied on torture and repression to maintain power.
In the film, Pelé is asked whether he knew about these practices at the time.
“If I were to say now that I had never been aware of it, that would be a lie,” he says. “There was a lot we never got to find out, but there were many stories too.”
However, the film paints him as taking a neutral stance throughout, never criticising the regime. Former team-mate Paulo Cezar Lima – aka Caju – doesn’t forgive him.
“I love Pele but that won’t stop me criticizing him. I thought his behavior was that of a black man who says ‘yes sir’,” said Caju. “A submissive black man. It’s a criticism I hold against him until this day, because just one statement from Pelé would have gone a long way.”
The government may have interfered with the Brazilian team.
The film paints a picture of how national team’s exploits were used to launder the reputation of the military regime during the 1960s. Before the 1970 World Cup, a journalist and friend of Pelé’s describes how it became very important for the regime’s international image that Brazil win the World Cup again. And that meant Pele had to play.
“Winning the World Cup became a governmental matter,” Kfouri says. “The team staff were almost entirely made up of military personnel.”
Manager Joao Saldanha appears to have been fired in the lead-up to the 1970 World Cup for criticizing the Brazilian president, telling a reporter: “I don’t pick his ministers and he doesn’t pick my team. That way we understand each other well.”
Pelé wanted to quit after the 1966 World Cup.
In the 1966 World Cup, Brazil was considered a favorite to win, having won the competition four years earlier in Chile. However, there was a massive shock when they were knocked out in the group stages.
“Getting knocked out of the World Cup in England was the saddest moment of my life,” Pelé says. In the film, he tells a reporter: “I don’t intend to play in any more World Cups, because I’m not lucky in them. This is the second World Cup where I have been injured after only two games.”
He played one more World Cup – the 1970 tournament in Mexico, which Brazil won. He’s still the only player to have won three World Cup trophies.
And he admits it was hard for him to stay faithful.
Stores of Pelé’s alleged infidelities and wild romances were common in the tabloids. By 1958, he was a global icon and football’s first millionaire while still only a teenager. And his fans followed him everywhere so it’s hardly a secret that Pelé did not show the same faithfulness to everyone in his life as he did to his club Santos.
At one point in the film, a journalist asks Pelé whether he found it difficult to remain faithful with the amount of women flirting with him.
“In all honesty, it was,” he says, “I’ve had a few affairs, some of which resulted in children, but I only learned about them later. My first wife knew all about it, I never lied to anyone.”
Last week, Mexican officials launched the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program by beginning to vaccinate those 65 and over. But, just like in countries around the world, the roll out hasn’t exactly been ideal. Many residents in the nation’s capital have reported waiting in line for hours for their vaccine, with some even being forced to camp out overnight to make sure they receive their shot.
Despite the long waits, many seniors are turning the headache into something fun by having impromptu dance offs and even yoga classes.
Seniors lined up to get vaccinated turned the wait into a fun dance off to pass the time.
As Mexico begins vaccinating the general public – after months of giving vaccines to public health workers – seniors, who are first in line, are facing immense lines at vaccination sites across the country.
To help pass the time, many of those waiting in line have tried to make the wait more bearable by dancing to tunes such as disco classic “I Will Survive.”
Healthcare workers outside a vaccination center in a Mexico City suburb got the festivities started by encouraging those waiting for a Sputnik V shot to cut a rug in the street as music played over a sound system. One of the workers even belted out a few songs over karaoke backing tracks to entertain the seniors, some of whom had begun lining up on Wednesday night.
Many seniors lined up didn’t mind the wait since they were grateful for the vaccine.
Despite the hours long wait – with some even camping out overnight to ensure their access to the vaccine – many of those waiting were simply grateful for the shots.
With tears in his eyes, 67-year-old Juan Mario Cárdenas told Reforma that he has lost friends to Covid-19 and that getting vaccinated was a matter of life and death for him. He is one of almost 200,000 people in the Mexico City boroughs of Iztacalco, Xochimilco and Tláhuac who are expected to receive a first shot of the Sputnik V vaccine by the end of next week.
The country is rolling out its vaccination program using the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
Inoculation with the Russian vaccine began in the capital – the country’s coronavirus epicenter – on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the first AstraZeneca shots were given to people aged 60 and over in several of the city’s most affected suburbs.
About 1.9 million vaccine doses had been administered in Mexico as of Wednesday night, mainly to health workers and seniors. The government expects to receive more than 100 million doses from several companies by the end of May.