Pele is certainly one man who knows about player-power having lit up the pitches across the world in a glittering playing career spanning over 21 years.
This week Brazil’s footballing legend was championing an altogether different kind of player-power – a pitch that harnesses the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide nighttime illumination and encourage youngsters to play more often.
The project is also part of a broader social campaign to encourage children to consider careers in science and technology.
At the inauguration ceremony Pele said: “Our parents said that it (football) helps keep kids away from drugs, away from the bad things and it’s good for your health, everything. Today, this soccer project, could help encourage kids that want to be scientists because it’s something in which the kids participate and the more they play the more energy they create.’‘
The player-powered tiles underneath the pitch feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.
In all, 200 of the high-tech tiles have been installed under the new field which has been installed at the impoverished Morro da Mineira favela in Rio de Janeiro and successfully tested by a local youth team.
As a secondary source of renewable energy, solar panels placed along the pitch also capture energy that is used to power the flood lights.