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The Bard's 100 Best Soccer Players: Rivelino (#81)

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Peter Fuchs

The Pick: I think you can learn more about a player by looking at their legacy rather than their league stats. Johnny Unitas may have stats that pale in comparison to Dan Marino’s, but when the Norton’s Anthology of  American Football is written, it will have a longer section on Unitas because he revolutionized the game. I feel the same way about Rivelino. Sure, he had the stats, but it was his fluid style that set him apart from many of his peers. 

The Flick: To be a real legend in any sport, you have to invent a famous move. Rivelino invented a move called the “Elastico” that Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have pulled off in the last few years. It’s one of those jukes that leaves the crowd speechless for a second after the player has scored. Who should play Rivelino? Well, what current film star has left crowds speechless time after time with his moves? Javier Bardem, my friends. 

The Limerick: Bardem’s ‘stache would be sweet, this sonnet is sour:

Rivelino was given the nickname “The King of the Park”

He once scored on the opening kick to give Brazil a spark

His father was an Italian

Who birthed a Brazilian stallion 

With both soccer and sexual moves under trademark 

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