Pele’s son feels ‘responsibility’

Rio de Janeiro, March 31 (IANS) The youngest son of Brazilian footballing idol Pele admitted to feeling the responsibility of following in his father’s footsteps but asked not to be compared with the former great.

Joshua, 16, joined Santos’ youth ranks earlier this month after returning to Brazil from the United States – where he had been living since he was 12 – at the behest of his father, reports Xinhua.

He said he had learned to cope with the pressure of being the son of the player regarded by many as the greatest in history.

“It is a good thing, right? I’m just starting my career and it’s a big responsibility. I’m trying to take it the best way possible by always thinking about the good side. People tell me about him but I still think I don’t really understand everything. It goes beyond what is in my head. He is an idol and always will be,” said the teenager.

When asked if he shared his father’s footballing qualities, Joshua replied: “I’m a striker and prefer to use the 9 or 11 shirt. Maybe one day I’ll use the 10.”

Joshua is expected to make his debut for the Santos Under-17 team in April. He is not the first of Pele’s seven children to pursue a professional career in football. His elder brother Edson also represented Santos as a goalkeeper in the 1990s.

Joshua said his father had so far been a constant source of encouragement in his career, urging him to develop his own identity on the pitch.

“He has spoken to me about the need to take it easy. I’m a different player and I have to develop my own career. The comparisons will come but I have to try to block them from my mind,” said Joshua.

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