Sgt. de Castro Inherits Pelé’s Jersey
By Dialogo July 19, 2011
The number 10 shirt of the Brazilian military has a history in football. No less than Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé, put it on. In the 5th Military World Games, played in Rio de Janeiro, the man that has the honor and challenge to wear it is Sergeant Fabio Augusto de Castro.
At 39, he has plenty of experience to accept the challenge. As a kid he, played football. In 1993, at age 19, he joined the professional club team of Flamengo alongside the likes of international stars Djalminha and Marcelinho Carioca.
After three years at the Rio club, he went on to other big Brazilian clubs such as Atletico Mineiro, Botafogo and Corinthians, in addition to playing abroad in Europe in Russia and Sweden. In 2009, after returning from Scandinavia, Fabio Augusto joined the military and has since represented his country in football.
Wearing the number 10 shirt for the Brazilian military doesn’t add any additional pressure. “It’s because I do not have to compare myself with Pelé He is the greatest and I’m just someone here to help the team win the gold,” said Fabio Augusto, who started in the first two matches for Brazil against Algeria and Suriname.
Two years into his Army career, Fabio Augusto sees clear differences between that of a professional football player and a soldier. “When I played, I used to get someone to fix my equipment. Here, in the Army, I have to do it myself. These are things I’m still getting used to, but its ok,” he said.
In addition, team spirit is also highlighted. “There is no ego on the team. Everybody talks to everybody,”said Fabio Augusto.
And what of Pelé? The Soldier became Nascimento Pele in 1959, when he turned 18. He was called up to represent Brazil in the South American Military Championships with other military members of the Sixth Motorized Coastal Artillery Group.
With Pelé, the group was crowned champions. In the championship game, Brazil faced Argentina and won 2 to 1, giving Pele another win on his resume.