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Corporal Luis Fernandez

Corporal Luis Fernandez
Victory (or ‘Escape to Victory’ as it was known in Europe) boasted a cornucopia of famous soccer stars who were cast as the Allied Prisoners of War. A small sample of these players included:

Bobby Moore, the Captain of the 1966 England World Cup winning team, and considered to be one of the best defenders of all time.

John Wark, the Scottish star who led Ipswich Town to the UEFA Cup that year.

Osvaldo Ardiles, an Argentine star who was then a skilled midfielder for the Tottenham Hotspur.

Kazimierez Denya, who was then starring for Manchester City and is one of the best Polish players of all time.

We could have continued with a roll call that would mean something to Europeans, but to the North American market in 1981, only one soccer player was known in this film; Pele. Actually, Pele was probably the ONLY soccer player that most Americans could have named back then. The Brazilian was an international superstar who transcended the sport. Three times, he led Brazil to the World Cup, and was the star (though way past his prime) that propelled the NASL to then relevance. Truthfully, he made soccer known to a degree in the United States, and though the NASL would eventually fold, his name remained in the American sporting mind.

It is for those reasons that when Fernandez (Pele) told his strategy to the other Allies of just criss-crossing the field until he got to the German end, that we believed it; it is for those reasons that we thought the POWs were finished after a brutal uncalled foul committed by the Germans and we believed that he would execute that perfect bicycle kick to tie the game in the 88th minute after coming back from that earlier injury.   Hell, we even believed that he was from Trinidad & Tobago (As Brazil was not involved in that theatre of the war when the movie took place).

Should a soccer player enter our Fictitious Athlete Hall of Fame, the legendary Pele would be a great place to start.


The Bullet Points:
Movie Appeared:
Victory (1981)


Position Portrayed:

Played for:
The Allied Prisoners of War

Why you should vote for him:
For many, his soccer scenes were the highlights of the film.

Why you should not vote for him:
His role took away from the attention of other great soccer players from the film, and was a little unintentionally self-serving.


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