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Football: Pele returns to Cosmos for degree and ceremony

Published on Feb 12, 2014 6:34 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - Brazilian football legend Pele will return to the New York Cosmos in April for a championship celebration and to accept an honorary degree for humanitarian work, the team said Tuesday.

The 73-year-old icon inspired Brazil to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962 and 1970, then played for the original Cosmos from 1975 through 1977, winning the title in his final season and sparking an American surge in football interest.

The Cosmos were revived last year and won a title in the second-tier North American Soccer League, a level below Major League Soccer.

Pele will join the Cosmos in celebrating that title at a pre-game ceremony on April 13 in the team's opening match of the 2014 campaign at Hofstra University's Shuart Stadium against Atlanta in a rematch of last year's championship final.

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