As tributes rain in from the world of football for the departed Pele, anecdotes a plenty are also returning to the public knowledge. Few would have expected Quique Setien to have one of them.
The Villarreal manager was speaking ahead of the Yellow Submarine’s first fixture back after the World Cup, as they take on Valencia in the brand new Estadio La Ceramica, which has been freshly renovated. Setien will likely be under pressure for a result though, after just one win in his first six game.
Speaking to Cadena SER, Setien recounted the time that he met Pele while he was enjoying the fruits of Madrid’s nightlife.
“When I was playing for Atletico Madrid, I was injured in a party room with a friend. I looked at the back of the room, there were tables and I realized that it was Pele who was there talking to a girl.”
“Without thinking twice, I took a coaster, I went to him and asked him for an autograph. I said to him: ‘Please can you sign this for me, and while he was signing it, I told him I also play football here in Spain, ‘I play for Atletico Madrid’. He replied: “And what are you doing here at this hour? You won’t score many goals that way’.”
Setien was at Atletico Madrid between 1985-1988, when Madrid was undergoing a cultural revolution following several decades of dictatorship under General Franco. Out of that scene was born the likes of Director and Spanish national treasure Pedro Almodovar, whose early films often took place during the early hours in Madrid.