Pele launches his own exhibition in Berlin
BERLIN, June 7 (Reuters) Fans coming to the World Cup can relive the life of Pele after the Brazilian launched the first exhibition about himself in Germany's capital today.
The temporary museum, whose opening will coincide with the World Cup kick off on June 9, features a collection of trophies and mementoes marking the career of the World Cup winner.
On display is the worn white leather ball, which he kissed after scoring his 1,000 goal in 1969 cheered by 75,000 fans, and sets of old black boots alongside his famous number 10 shirt.
''It is actually hard for me to tell what my favourite piece is,'' the three-times world champion said at a news conference.
''Each one of the pieces is a moment of my life, of my emotions.'' All three of Pele's World Cup medals hang on the wall next to the sceptre and crown he was given by Yugoslavia's national team in a 1971 farewell match, declaring him king of soccer.
The collection is on show in a dark industrial underground hall in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz station.
NEXT GENERATIONS It also features his FIFA ''Player of the Century'' trophy and an Andy Warhol portrait of the now 65-year old, most famous for his bicycle kick, goalscoring ability and dribbling skills.
The exhibition aims to bring Pele closer to all those generations of soccer fans who never saw him play.
''People said to me it's just like (Leonardo) Da Vinci or Michelangelo, you are going to leave something for the next generations,'' said Pele.
At the same time, he added, he wanted to show people how soccer has changed in Brazil.
Besides watching footage of his most memorable moments, youngsters can play soccer under fluorescent lights.
This is a favourite pastime for many Brazilians who play matches in underground car parks since open air pitches have become a rare commodity in the country's crowded cities.
''We used to play with grapefruits and coconuts, but now all the children have proper leather balls already,'' Pele said.
''It's certainly worked out better for the coconuts.'' The Pele exhibition is due to go on tour in Europe and Asia once the World Cup finishes with the final on July 9.
REUTERS DH BST2002