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The day Pelé was in the Boutique

Half a century ago, Pele arrived in Cordoba to play a friendly against the “T” in Barrio Jardín. We tell you all about that episode.


Never had  the boutique  been  so small and so big at the same time . It was small, because the 18,000 available locations flew in an instant. And they provoked frustration in an overwhelming majority who was left empty-handed. However, the  neighborhood Jardín enclosure seemed to have been  wider than the Maracaná . Anyway,  on the night of January 18, 1970  it was recorded on fire for all the Cordoba fans of that hot summer. The quote, you can say, was revolutionary.  The Brazilian Pelé , at the highest point of popularity, stepping on the Talleres court with his team. He went with Santos, to face the  brand new Cordovan champion .

Half a century after that meeting, which ended with the visitor triumph for 2 to 0, four of those privileged Albiazules football players returned to the Boutique. Roberto Cortez (79 years old), Hugo Rivarola (76), José Pedacchia (68) and Abel Montoya (76), who together with José, the son of Miguel Frullingui, met in the same scenario that concentrated the attention of the  football arena  of the time. It was to remember and tell what happened.

 The story of a bomb 

In January 1970, a delegation led by Albiazul President Abraham Litvak had met with the Santist leaders in Mar del Plata. Where Brazilians played  a match with Boca . There they heard the price of “summer madness”: 20 thousand dollars, a fortune for the time, a “return” for our days.

Pele, who in November of the previous year had achieved his marketer goal number one thousand, had no rest. Talleres,  champion of the  Liga Cordobesa  in 1969 , had a graduate of his squad. He had not even begun to renew his players' contracts.

Miguel Frullingui was in Rosario, Eladio Rodriguez was in San Francisco and many others on vacation in various parts of the country. Telegram through, the leaders urgently called the players: “Match against Santos from Brazil, day 18, please  perform at the club as soon as possible ”.

Improvisation of the case was saved with the enthusiasm of all players. It's just that  playing a friendly against Pele  was more than attractive to interrupt any summer plan.

 The privileged 

“I am very happy to be able to say that I played a match against Pelé and that my score was Carlos Alberto, who a few months later lifted the cup at the Mexico World Cup as captain of Brazil. I was 18 years old and it's a match that can't be erased from your mind. It was a dream,” says Pedacchia, the youngest of that group.

“ Pelé  ,” he recalls, was very nice  and before the match he posed for the photo with each of us. Most have the individual record with him, except Frullingui and me, who are surrounding him. It's just that I was the last in line, the match was about to start and I was afraid to miss it.”

“La Chancha” Cortez was, along with goalkeeper Martín Fonseca (now 87 years old and absent for health reasons), one of the best values of the local team.

“You have to be lucky in football and I was fortunate to be in the two times that Pelé played in  Córdoba  (before he came in 1964, Brazilian triumph 2-1),” Cortez acknowledges before telling his best memory. “In one move, Pelé chased me from behind and  I, not knowing what it was him, I put a spout in him. I felt a screaming on the court and when I turned around, I saw him shake the land off his shirt, because he went mouth to the floor. The court was coming downstairs,” he recalls.


“El Indio” Rivarola was the scorer of the team. Neighbor of Villa del Rosario,  he changed the deal with the ball for the organ of the Church . “It was a very well played match, with two very different times. In the first  we were painted the face , but then we adjusted on the middle of the court and the pointers stung behind the backs of the markers that could not be projected further. We paired, but it didn't reach us.  It was unforgettable ,” the former attacker remembers now.

Montoya boasts of challenging that  popular  belief that he recommends not to live on memories. “I do live from them and that match was the best of all of my time in football.  I have the vivid images  of when I asked him for the photo and also when I got him hard on a move. At that moment he took the ball with his hands, showed it to me and told me that she did hit her hard, but not to her knees.”

The 2-0 for Brazilians was anecdotal. In fact, several are those who do not remember for sure the scoreboard. Pelé's presence centralized all the interest. Everything else was secondary. Up to the result.

 Pele's T-shirt, a jewel 

The shirt has already turned  half a century in the home of the Frullingui . The white of Santos with the “10” on her back looks impeccable despite the five decades that passed. Pelé gave it to Miguel Frullingui, who died on August 7, 2004.

His son, José Miguel,  inherited the jacket with the same conviction from his father , who spent much of his life chasing away collectors from generous pockets. “This shirt represents in our family the living memory of my old man, who defended her to death and rejected thousands of offers despite some economic needs,” says José.

“He clung tight to her and never went through his head to sell it. She always told me that it was something that gave her life and that she wanted to leave it to me to pass it to my son. That's what I'll do. I know it's a lot of value, but I'm not even interested in knowing how much it could be worth. It's from the family.” This is how the son of “la Frula” is positioned, an  anthology character on and off the  court  . The shirt, what doubts, is in the best hands.

Pele Boutique

SOURCE:  Mundo D 

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Publication Date: 18/05/2020

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