The year began with a goodbye to Pelé and continued frantic in the NFL, cycling and soccer

Writing Sports, 1 feb. The new sports year in America began with the final farewell to the ‘king’ of football Edson Arantes do Nascimento ‘Pelé’, who was buried on January 3 in a vertical cemetery located just 700 meters from the Vila Belmiro stadium, where he played some 200 matches and his wake passed.

The tributes continued in January and reached new moments of emotion on the 29th, commemorating the first month of his death with a public letter from the widow, Márcia Aoki, in which he said goodbye to the “eternal ten” and also thanked the fans for the love expressed.

In fields, tracks and offices the activity continued frantic.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Eagles and Chiefs meet for Super Bowl LVII

Kansas City Chiefs will arrive on February 12 at State Farm Stadium, in Glendale (Arizona), as brand new champion of the American Conference (AFC), and Philadelphia Eagles with the title of the National Conference (NFC).

The Eagles crushed a decimated formation of the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in the final played on January 29, and hours later that same Sunday the Chiefs prevailed with more effort 23-20 over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Kansas team returns to the Super Bowl in search of the third title, having won the IV edition (1969) and in 2019 the LVI.

In the 57th edition, the Philadelphians seek to repeat the consecration obtained in 2017, when they beat the Patriots.

Eagles center Jason Kelce and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce may become the first brothers to meet for the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 12.

Another unprecedented event can occur in the same final if the face-to-face between two black quarterbacks is confirmed: Julen Hurts, of the Eagles, and Patrick Mahomes, of the Chiefs.

CYCLING: ‘Supermán’ López flies in the Tour of San Juan

With the fresh memory of a bitter end of the year, the Colombian Miguel Ángel López won the Vuelta a San Juan on January 29, the first major race on the UCI World Tour calendar in 2023, in which his compatriot Egan Bernal excited until he abandoned in the penultimate stage due to problems in the left knee.

The podium was completed by the Italian from Ineos Filippo Gana and another Colombian, Serguio Higuita, from Bora.

López Astana’s contract was terminated after being linked by a Spanish court in the investigation of a plot for the use and distribution of prohibited substances called Operation Ilex.

‘Supermán’ López, 28, joined the Team Medellín formation and so far this year he already has two wins. The Argentine race of San Juan constitutes the seventh title of his professional career, two of them in the elite of the World Tour: the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour of Catalonia.

BASKETBALL: LBJ has no ceiling, no expiration date

With 38 years of age on December 30 and twenty seasons in the NBA, LeBron James is a true collector of records.

His next challenge is 117 points away and will allow him to lower Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the pedestal that for almost 40 years he has occupied as the top scorer in the NBA’s regular seasons.

The owner of four rings and four prizes for the best of all, does not lose sight of the conquest of the fifth title, which would match the achievements of Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Commentators believe that to extend his legend, LBJ has at least two more seasons of validity.

FOOTBALL: The Copa América returns to the US in alliance with Concacaf

As happened in 2016 to commemorate the first centenary of the oldest continental tournament of soccer teams, in 2024 the ten teams that make up Conmebol will meet in the United States with the novelty that the six best of Concacaf, the entity will participate as guests. which will organize the 2026 World Cup.

The strategic alliance announced on January 27 also reaches women’s soccer and establishes that the four best teams of the South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol) will participate in the 2024 Concacaf Gold Cup, which will also be organized by the United States.

These are Brazil, champion of the Copa América in 2022, runner-up Colombia, as well as Argentina and Paraguay.

Women’s football will also have a club integration tournament in 2024 that will bring together the best two from each federation.

BASEBALL: 16-year-old Venezuelan, the millionaire of prospects

Venezuelan catcher Ethan Salas became the highest-paid rookie on January 15, at the opening of the Major League Baseball transfer market, signing a contract with the San Diego Padres in exchange for $5.6 million.

The transaction makes Salas the highest international signing bonus, since since 2019 the Dominican Jackson Domínguez led the classification with a contract for 5.1 million with the New York Yankees. EFE