He also commented about people who played for their club instead of their nation because of the low salary.
The author agrees with Pele since commercialism has invaded all sports including football [soccer]. There was a time when people played out of loyalty to the country first followed by loyalty to the club. What happened over the years have been a product of commercialism and an opening up of more communications between the nations of the world.
Pele was right about the players playing for clubs instead of their nations because of the low salaries. There are countries that have not paid attention to their athletes and as a result, the athletes go abroad.
The phenomenon is not limited to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Regardless, there are football [soccer] clubs and national teams such as Zimbabwe where the Chief Executive Officer was using half of the players for sexual favours which does not do justice to the team.
There are instances in which players in North America and Europe have played for other teams because of lack of infrastructure, lack of a national team, [although that is changing] or monetary opportunities. It is hoped that one day, there could be a return to a balance in which loyalty to the National Team is first and loyalty to the clubs are second. The United States Soccer League and Major League Soccer have been instrumental in promoting pride in nation followed by pride in club.
Who cannot forget seeing the United States of America playing against Cuba at RFK Stadium in Washington DC? The team appears united with Landon Donovan and others promoting the spirit of country first and club second. Source: Breach Report