Wolves have sadly had very little to do with Pele, acknowledged as the greatest footballer, down the years.
The closest they got to facing the great man was at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, when an England team containing three Wolves players – Eddie Clamp, Billy Wright and Bill Slater – drew 0-0 with Brazil in Gothenburg. Pele, then just 17, was kept among the substitutes and didn’t play until the final Group 4 game, a 2-0 win against the Soviet Union, before becoming the star of the tournament as Brazil became world champions.
Some two and a half decades later, Molineux legend Kenny Hibbitt, then on a brief spell with Seattle Sounders, met the superstar before the 1982 Soccer Bowl in the United States when Pele was a guest of opponents New York Cosmos, who he played for in the mid-1970s.
But a current player of the same famous name has picked two Wolves players in his fantasy five-a-side team.
Monaco midfielder Pele, who is on loan at Nottingham Forest, has selected Molineux goalkeeper Rui Patricio and ex-winger Silas in his team for the Forest Review, the matchday programme for today’s game against Middlesbrough.
Pele could have gone with Raul Jimenez, who he teamed up with at Benfica in 2015-16 – both were summer signings in 2015. But for the striker position, he went with Radamel Falcao, who he played with at Monaco.
Explaining his choice, the 27-year-old said: “I played against him (Patricio) when he was at Sporting. He is a great goalkeeper, he is very strong when saving penalties and is a good all-round shotstopper.
“Silas was a very good player. He played in England, at Wolves, but he was captain at Belenenses when I started there. He had good technique, vision and he helped me when I started in the first team.”
Pele’s line-up is completed by Paris Saint Germain defender Thiago Silva, who he trained with AC Milan.
Silas was a £1m signing from Uniao Leiria made by Dave Jones in the summer of 2003 for Wolves’ first season in the Premier League, but he struggled to adapt to the style of play. He made just two starts in the Premier League, coming on as substitute in another seven games in a total of 12 appearances.
He was loaned out to John Richards’s final club Maritimo for the 2004-05 season and to Belenenses for the whole of 2005-06 before joining them permanently, on a free transfer, in 2006 when his Wolves contract expired.