SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO/AP) — If you follow sports, maybe that includes soccer fandom. Or maybe you just follow the game when there’s a World Cup happening. Or perhaps it’s not really on your radar. But even if that’s the case, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the late Pelé who died this week at the age of 82.

“No one person can have the impact on a sport that Pelé has had for soccer,” said Frank Gurnick, director of soccer operations for Dakota Alliance Soccer Club.

“With Pelé and that Brazil team came out, it was, they created the flair of the game,” Harrisburg High School assistant boys soccer coach David Ohayon said. “The beauty you see nowadays.”

Frank Gurnick looks beyond the sporting brilliance on the pitch when talking about Pelé’s legacy.

“Here he is making a speech at his farewell game, and the message was real simple, right, the message was love, love, love, and he got an entire stadium to say that,” Gurnick said. “I mean, that’s his legacy.”

Pelé was a champion for Brazil at the World Cup three times, a record that’s his thanks to wins in 1958, 1962 and 1970. But Gurnick looks beyond that.

“His legacy wasn’t ‘Dig me, watch what I can do on the soccer field,'” Gurnick said. “It was, how can I bring people together using this beautiful game.”

All you have to do to find evidence of this is to take a look at a gathering of people to watch a World Cup match. One in Sioux Falls this year was a long way from Brazil, to be certain, but thanks in part to Pelé, maybe not that far.

“He is the godfather of creative soccer in my opinion,” Ohayon said.

Since Pele dazzled the world for the final time in a soccer match, there have been other brilliant players, and there will be more wonderful players in the years ahead. Ohayon says Pelé paved this road.

“I would say the future of soccer in this world is in good hands because they understand what Pelé brought,” Ohayon said.

Tarcisio Burgnich, an Italian, had the following commentary after facing off against Pelé in the 1970 World Cup final: “I told myself before the game, he’s made of skin and bones just like everyone else – but I was wrong.”