In 1970, the FIFA World Cup burst onto the international stage in all its glory, televised in full color for the first time ever. That year, Brazil brought together what is still called “football’s greatest ever team,” a star-studded lineup that included “The King of Football,” Pelé.
A new book of photography and essays on what Pelé dubbed “the beautiful game” makes the case that “in the 1970s the game was at its most beautiful, free-flowing, and entertaining.” (Indeed, the book even gives us a look inside the players’ shower.)
Edited by Reuel Golden, the former editor of the British Journal of Photography, it features the soccer world at the height of ’70s glam, both on the field and off, documenting the game and its superstar players, their fashionable girlfriends, and their ardent fans. Pelé celebrates Brazil’s moment of victory in 1970. A team returns home from the event in defeat. Italian striker Paolo Rossi sends a header through the goalposts for a 1-0 win. English footballer Bobby Moore relaxes on the beach in the tiniest of swimsuits. Legendary German passer Günter Netzer opens a nightclub. These scenes serve as a grainy love letter to a bygone era of the world’s most popular sport.