Soccer. This day when King Pelé illuminated Gerland in 1961 against OL

Among the imposing number of Ballons d’Or, European champions and world champions that the Gerland stadiums, then the « Groupama Stadium » have seen, the passage of the Brazilian Edson Arentes Do Nascimento was one of the most striking.

Swaying and ability

Better known as Pelé, the man from Santos brought to football what no one had seen. And on June 9, 1961, Olympique Lyonnais saw it. Surrounded by diabolical teammates, Pelé, all swaying, skillful, dressed in this mythical white jersey of Santos, the club from the port of Sao Paulo, lit up the evening for the public.

In reality, Santos appeared in Gerland as part of an immense tour, which had taken him to seven countries: “Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Israel and Greece”. More than 20,000 people had come to the Gerland stadium to see these « Santos globe trotters » of football, and in particular Pelé, world champion in 1958, at the age of 17.

Santos had just humiliated Basel 8-2, crushed Wolfsburg 6-3, crushed Racing Paris 6-1. In addition Santos had made a 4-4 of fire against the Belgian selection. Suffice to say that Marcel Aubour, the OL goalkeeper, had work to do. Pedro Mengalvio was an evil playmaker, world champion a year later. Coutinho, the late world champion scorer a year later, was also on the pitch. As well as José Macia, known as « Pepe », an incredible left-hander, world champion in 1958. Marcel Aubour, the giant Lyon goalkeeper liked to play while being advanced. « Pepe » sent him a ball from the middle of the field in the top corner!

« Pelé was very simple, and already a big star »

Lula the coach of Santos had left José Ely Miranda called « Zito », world champion in 1958, on the bench. Pelé remained 65 minutes on the lawn, chaining gestures. On the hour mark, the King had scored twice, imitated by Pepe. However, the Lyon players, reinforced by Mahi (Rennes) and the Argentinian from Nancy, Alberto Muro, had guts. Santos did not close the game, which benefited Angel Rambert and Roubaud to save the honor and lose 6-2. It was honorable since after this match, Santos crushed Benfica 6-3, Juventus Turin 2-0, Roma 5-0 and Inter Milan 4-1!. Pelé scored 22 goals on this tour…

At the final whistle, the Lyon players did photo shoots with the players of this « team of the century », and in particular with Pelé. “He was a very simple person and already a big star, a unique player. I met him for this match with OL then again with the France team in 1963 (April 28) when we faced Brazil in Colombes. They had won 3-2, and Pelé had scored all 3 goals. I had scored 1, and at the final whistle, as we had seen each other at Gerland two years earlier, we left the field together. It was class, ”says Fleury Di Nallo the little prince of Gerland.

The disappearance of Pelé revives emotions on the side of Lyon which had the privilege of receiving the one who gave football and Brazil with whom he was three times world champion (1958, 1962, 1970) the desire to go always higher. . With its simplicity that Lyon discovered on a beautiful evening in June 1961.

June 9, 1961 in Gerland: OL-Santos 2-6

About 20,000 spectators. Referee: Mr. Pierre Schwinte (France).

Goals : Pelé (15th and 56th), Pepe (32nd and 75th), Mengálvio (41st), Bossy (63rd CSC) for Santos. Rambert (37th), Roubaud (44th)

Lyons: Aubour, Duffez, Viala, Mignot, Bossy (then Camilla 45th), Desgeorges, Mahi, Muro, Combin (then Di Nallo 45th), Rambert, Roubaud. Trainer: Gaby Robert.

Santos: Laercio (then Lalá 45th), Mauro (then Sormani 60th), Dalmo, Getúlio, Brandao, Lima, Dorval, Mengalvio (then Tite 80th), Coutinho (then Pagão 70th), Pelé (then Bé 65th), Pepe. Trainer: Lula.


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