Pele wants to get rid of defensive walls – has he had one Viagra too many?

Ollie Irish

8th, November 2007


Every so often the greatest footballer on earth will come out with a curveball statement straight from the Sepp Blatter school of thought.
He’s claimed Nicky Butt was the best English player in the World Cup, insisted an African country would win it before 2000 and named Michael Owen as his favourite Man United player. And now he wants to break down more barriers in sport by getting rid of the defensive wall at free-kicks.
Could God’s gift to football have come up with an ingenious way of spicing up the game or are these the mutterings of a man losing the race against age?

“There is one rule I have debated at FIFA. As a forward, the wall – I don’t know why they have not banned the wall from the game.
“The forward gets the ball from the midfield, dribbles for one-two or passes three or four players but when you get close to the goal, the last defender makes a foul.
“After you have passed all the players, one guy makes a foul and then you have the whole team in the wall against you again. It is not fair,” he said.
What with today’s Predator boots, swerving balls and free-kick specialists it would no doubt increase the spectacular goal count, although if it wasn’t for the wall who knows where Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kicks would end up.
But, with the long-range equivalent of a penalty being awarded for fouls near the goal would it just encourage even more diving and cheating to win a free-kick?

Posted in Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Chelms says:

    The first time i heard this suggested was by Ron Atkinson about 4/5 years ago and people laughed at him. But Pele says it and people listen.
    It was shit idea then and it is now.
    How can you start banning things like walls anywhere, how could you justify it? The rule is 10 yards, its up to you. Banning where you can stand past that point is ridiculous. You’d effectively be banning standing in a line at any point?
    Next i think Pele will say ‘when you have an attack a keeper just tips the ball away and you have corner. Its not fair. I suggest that when a corner is taken the defending team players can’t stand in the penalty area.’ And people will actually listen cos it’s pele. If Blatter had said this the typical groans would come out.
    Pele, class act on the pitch, a massive knob off it.

  2. Great stuff. We’re about two years away from Pele demanding that the Champions League final should be played by a team of tiny elves on his naked body. I’ve linked to this at The Run of Play:

  3. Anonymous says:

    pele is going too far this time. the next thing he will say is that you should get penaltys for missing a siter

  4. Sheps says:

    I completely agree with him about butt. he had the game of his life against the argies in 2002.

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