To most people around the world, Pele was the icon who transcended football. He turned the game into an art form, an entertainment and there is no comparison to what he has done.

Yes, the debate still goes on up to now after Messi won his first World Cup only a few days ago. But Pele won the Cup three times for Brazil and he is the only one who did it three times.


There is one thing in common with Pele and Messi. Both carry the virtue of humility. We see world champions who simply fade away in time with too much pride all over their heads, especially here in our beloved country.

It's different with Pele because he has always been revered all over the world even by his rivals on the turf. He changed the color of Brazil after the freedom for the black people was given just 50 years before he was born. Another story from rags to riches, fame and respect. The world's greatest footballers are now sending messages to the world that there will never be anyone like him and how lucky we are to be alive to have seen his brand of play.

Players like Zidane, Lineker, Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi will never forget the value Pele has left behind for this world's greatest sport.

I love Messi, too, but I love Pele more.


I love Pele for the simple reason that all the successes of the new generation of superstars started with "The Man." His legacy will forever live on not only in Brazil but all over the world.

Now I have to find that picture I was blessed to have with him years ago when I was director of FIFA plus the shirt he signed.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. Happy, healthy new year, guys.

Congratulations and appreciation


Congratulations to the newly appointed officials of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Former PSC chairman Butch Ramirez is quite a hard act to follow. But with all due respect to the newbies, we, in the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas, would like to thank former chairman Noli Eala, in spite of his short stint, and current PSC commissioner Bong Coo and executive director Guillermo Iroy, without whose support, we would not have garnered three gold medals, courtesy of our Olympic golden girl Hidilyn Diaz, in the recent IWF World Championships in Bogota, Columbia, two weeks ago.

Out of more than 10 Olympic qualifying events for Paris 2024, we have to join four more out of the five compulsory qualifying events and hope we get the same support, if not better, from new PSC chairman Dickie Bachmann and his commissioners.


Don't worry. As always, we will do our best to deliver for the country. Watch out for weightlifters Vanessa Sarno, Elreen Ando, Kristel Macrohon, aside from Hidilyn. This could be their breakout year.



Date: January 3, 2023 | By:  | Newspaper: The Manila Times | Source: