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Editor’s Letter: Introducing ISSUE 11

To mark the passing of Pelé, Editor Archie Willis profiles Pelé as an icon of sport and culture.
The eleventh issue of FUTBOLISTA Magazine in print. Photo by Archie Willis

Archie Willis

Archie Willis is the founding editor of FUTBOLISTA Magazine, and has written several cover features for the magazine. He is currently studying a BA Honours degree in Journalism, Media & Communication and Spanish at the University of Strathclyde. Archie has also written for The Herald and FTBL Cult. @_archiewillis

Pelé, or Edson Arantes do Nascimento in full, is the name that every aspiring footballer knows. Every follower of football on the planet recognises Pelé as the best there was and ever will be. He is the footballer that you simply knew was the greatest, with an ability on the ball beyond your wildest imagination. And yet, how many of those who treasure him so deeply have seen Pelé in action for more than a twenty-second video clip? His legacy is so grand that he continues to be intensely revered today by a generation who may know him best as an icon card on EA Sports’ FIFA video game series.

To mark the passing of Pelé, the greatest footballer of all time, last December, FUTBOLISTA ISSUE 11 profiles Pelé as an icon of sport and culture. He created an eternal, unparalleled reputation as a god-like footballer, completed by his performance at the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico. On page 10, I examine the iconography of Pelé with an essay on his mythical ability, how he came to represent the entirety of Brazil, and the Médici military dictatorship’s attempt to use the symbolism of Pelé for political benefit. I argue that Pelé was the first globally loved footballer and changed the way that football should be played, understood and enjoyed. For that, he is an icon of sport, a hero for football fans and probably why he was voted as one of the ‘100 Most Important People of the 20th Century’ by TIME magazine in 1999.

In our eleventh issue’s Features section, Mike Witcombe takes you to Vienna on page 18, reporting on the history of the derby between Rapid Wein and Austria Wien. Kris Scrimgeour looks back at his experience of Barcelona in April 2010, ‘a city in which football is politics’, on page 26. I am also really excited to introduce a new Travel Diary series to the magazine as part of our Features, which will be a mixture of both football writing and travel journalism as our contributors review their trips around the world in the pursuit of football. In ISSUE 11, Volkan Isbasaran kicks off the Travel Diary with his adventure in Almaty, Kazakhstan, taking in Kairat Almaty versus Ordabasy in the Kazakhstan Premier League on page 34. Take a look at the contents on page 7 to view the full line-up for ISSUE 11, including the all-new FUTBOLISTA Journal section.

Finally, I would like to thank and provide an update for subscribers and readers on the magazine as I publish this eleventh issue. I realise it has been a long time coming, so thanks very much for your patience and I hope it is worth the wait. I run FUTBOLISTA on my own, which has its challenges and my work on the magazine has had to be paused due to other commitments in the last six months. Away from the magazine, I am a Journalism and Spanish student at the University of Strathclyde and will be spending my compulsory year abroad in Spain from September 2023 to June 2024. As FUTBOLISTA is a one-man operation, I have decided that my only option is to put a pause on the magazine following ISSUE 11 because the costs and logistics of running FUTBOLISTA whilst in Spain would be difficult. Rather than naively promise to work on a new issue that may never materialise while I am in Spain, I felt it would be better to offer this clarity and also confirm that ISSUE 12 of FUTBOLISTA will thus be delayed until June 2024. ISSUE 12 will go ahead next June, at which point I will give you another update on the magazine’s future and what lies beyond ISSUE 12, with possible pressures of my final year of university in mind. I would absolutely love to continue the magazine further, but if I do decide to cease publishing new printed issues of FUTBOLISTA, subscribers will be notified as soon as possible and you will be refunded for any unfulfilled issues that are due on your subscription, including postage. Due to this uncertainty, I have paused the option for readers to purchase new subscriptions and for the time being new issues of FUTBOLISTA can only be purchased via our website as single issues or at any shop which stocks the magazine (check our website for further information). I hope this is understandable; producing the magazine has been an absolute joy and it has become better than I ever expected, thanks to your support. I am really looking forward to working on ISSUE 12 – I can guarantee it will be an issue dominated by Spanish football, of course!

For now, I would like to again say thank you to readers of FUTBOLISTA. Enjoy reading ISSUE 11, and check the back cover of the magazine for a discount code for 10% off ISSUE 12 next June. Order the magazine for £7.99 plus postage by clicking here.

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