When a 15-year-old Aussie Rene Colusso was flown to Brazil to train with Pele

The under 16 curtain raiser, as seen in the 1972 program.

The beneath 16 curtain raiser, as noticed in the 1972 system.

“It was publicised for all the young young children … all the younger young ones knew they could do the trial online games and experienced a opportunity to be picked to perform in that recreation, and to be picked to go to Brazil,” Colusso said.

Colusso, a midfielder, was picked to play in the curtain-raiser and scored two ambitions in his side’s 4-2 earn. His club teammate, Berti Mariani, also scored 2 times. A selection panel suggested Pele of their decide and the celebrity strode onto the pitch.

“When Pele arrived, they questioned him to go out and decide on the player, so we had been all variety of turned around and he just arrived up and tapped me on the shoulder,” Colusso said.

Rene Colusso (second from right) and Berti Mariani (second from left) with members of Santos FC in 1972.

Rene Colusso (next from ideal) and Berti Mariani (2nd from still left) with associates of Santos FC in 1972.

Colusso was confused, but just a several months later on he was on a airplane to Brazil. By means of some Marconi fundraising, Mariani was also sent on the vacation and the boys had been chaperoned by properly-recognized News Limited soccer journalist Tony Horstead, provided the competitors had been intensely promoted by The Sydney Mirror.

Former Australian footballer Rene Colusso and Berti Mariani at Marconi Stadium.

Former Australian footballer Rene Colusso and Berti Mariani at Marconi Stadium.Credit:Brook Mitchell

“It was a quite unbelievable expertise. We went to Santos and trained there for nine or 10 times,” Colusso explained.

The travellers stayed in team accommodation, experienced, fulfilled an array of stars and viewed a handful of online games, but only met up with Pele once again the moment extra.

“Being a well known player, he was extremely busy,” Colusso stated. “He was 33 or 34 and coming toward the stop of his profession and he was about to signal to engage in in The usa for New York.

“After we went from Sao Paolo to Rio de Janeiro and properly trained with Flamengo – Zico was there – and then skilled with Botafogo also. Flamengo required to retain me and Berti there, but being so young and with moms and dads and college and all that, it wouldn’t function out.”

Rene Colusso with Alessandria manager Dino Ballacci after winning promotion in 1980.

Rene Colusso with Alessandria manager Dino Ballacci just after winning marketing in 1980.

Colusso returned dwelling and performed for Marconi’s top rated aspect aged 17, and then gained just one whole cap for the Socceroos aged 19 in opposition to China in Melbourne in 1975. Colusso was selected four occasions for Australia but then resolved to consider his hand at actively playing skillfully in Italy and, immediately after composing a letter, he secured a trial with Torino.

Colusso was the first Australian to perform professionally in Italy and was on the cusp of a star occupation in Italy the subsequent year when his type even though on personal loan to Pisa observed him get presents from giants Juventus and Fiorentina. But the adhering to week Colusso blew his knee and the Serie A options ended up absent by the time he recovered and returned to participating in.

A solid career with numerous golf equipment in Italy’s next and 3rd divisions followed, playing for eight clubs around 14 seasons ahead of Colusso retired in 1986. With interaction traces to Australian football far distinctive to what they are now, Colusso was never ever called upon once more by Socceroos selectors.

The Australian later managed two Italian golf equipment Reggina and Avellino and became a nicely regarded and perfectly-linked determine in Italian soccer, and as a prosperous jewellery importer, Colusso continue to divides his time concerning Australia and Italy.

Mariani also performed for Marconi and Apia, and was a productive manager of Marconi and Wollongong in the Nationwide Soccer League.

Pele and Rene Colusso met again in 1990.

Pele and Rene Colusso achieved again in 1990.

Colusso caught up with Pele once more in the course of a promotional check out by the Brazilian excellent to Sydney in 1990.

Provided all the people and areas Pele had skilled, Colusso did not expect his quick go to to Santos in 1972 to ring any bells.

“But he remembered exactly about me and anything. We invested about 30 minutes jointly and had a espresso, he remembered the day and remembered me,” Colusso said.


“He was a beautiful person. He was a gentleman, he had time for everyone and it was genuine.”