Man Who Tells Pele What He 'Needs to Hear' Walks Away from Him

After 50 years, Pepito Fornos ended its partnership with the King of Football

São Paulo

José Fornos Rodrigues, aka Pepito, 79, doesn't remember the year. Pelé's mansion in Guarujá (São Paulo coast) was full of people. The Football King appeared in red pants and a blue shirt.

Cheerful, he pretended to be parading near the pool. He was applauded. This lasted until he approached Pepito. "So, what do you think?" "You look ridiculous. You look like a macaw."

Pelé and Pepito Fornos ( Foto: @Pepito Fornos no facebook ) ORG XMIT: xd2B_lyc32dq9pTi4epX - @Pepito Fornos no facebook

From Pele's indignant reaction to the comment came the phrase that defined the 50-year relationship between the two. "I tell you what you need, not what you like to hear."

The friendship will continue, he says, but the professional connection ended earlier this month.

Pele, 81, has mobility problems, the result of surgery to put a hip replacement and knee injury.

"As he has these mobility limitations, he can't travel, he can't leave the house, I can't contribute or add anything. He needs a doctor, nurse, caregiver. He can't do what he used to do," summarized Pepito.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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