Soccer legend Pelé released a song to celebrate his 80th birthday, called “Acredita No Véio (Listen To The Old Man),” featuring flamenco nuevo guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela. It’s a new version of a track that he released in 2006 on his only full-length album, Pelé Ginga.
Pelé explained why he made it, “I’ve written many books, I’ve scored many goals, I’ve fathered children, I’ve planted many trees. The only thing that’s lacking is a musical memento of my life.” It was actually released a few days before his birthday, which is October 23.
A music video with kids-friendly animation and footage from his soccer career was also released with the new collaboration. The video includes clips of his failures along with his successes. There’s a quote from a conversation between Pelé and writer Alex Bellos about the original song that also mentions both winning and losing, “I wrote this one because when I used to play with Santos, the coach used to say that when we lost, it was the players’ fault, but when we won, it was the macumba (black magic) that had helped. The song is joking about that – of course, macumba doesn’t win games at all.”
Music and songwriting have always been a passion of his, but he never wanted to make a fuss about it, “I didn’t want the public to make the comparison between Pelé the composer and Pelé the footballer. That would have been a huge injustice – in football my talent was a gift from God, music was just for fun.”
Rodrigo y Gabriela had their own piece to say about working with Pelé, “We are both big soccer fans. Growing up in Mexico City, we heard many stories about Pelé and the legendary Brazilian team that triumphed at the 1970 World Cup in our homeland. Imagine our surprise and delight to find out that not only is Pelé the greatest footballer of all-time, but is also a very talented singer and songwriter? It is a huge honor for us to collaborate with Pelé on the occasion of his 80th Birthday.”
Most of Rodrigo y Gabriela’s music is instrumental, so this track is an anomaly for them beyond Pelé’s superstar presence on it. This month, they released a live album called Mettavolution Live, containing all seven songs from their 2019 album Mettavolution and versions of six older songs. Earlier this year, they also dropped a new song called “Gamma State” and shared a flamenco cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.”