The Russian Pele

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Proudly wearing The Black-Whites jersey
A statue in his honour stands lonely and tall
In celebration of what might have been
Before the Soviet regime had him crawl

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Eduard Streltsov was “The Russian Pele”
Teenage sensation in Lev Yashin’s team
The greatest show on earth did beckon
His World Cup, to be a shattered dream

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 He risked the wrath of those in power
For CSKA and Dynamo, the ultimate snub
Loyal and honourable, stayed with Torpedo
For the love of the people’s football club

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 A malicious Communist trap ensued
Criminal charges, a confession of guilt
Release for Sweden, an unfulfilled promise
Instead, a Brazilian’s reputation was built

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Taken from Butyrka to the dreaded Gulag
Seven years hard labour preceded release
Played again but with waning powers
No mention of lost times; an uneasy peace



Eduard Streltsov 1937-1990

Arguably, the finest Russian footballer of all time. He was arrested on a dubious rape charge having refused to play for either the Russian Army’s CSKA Moscow or the KGB’s Dynamo Moscow. He missed the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

On his death bed, he told his wife Raya “I am not guilty. I’ve never been guilty of anything with you and I was not guilty then.”

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-russian-pele/