Soccer legend Pele is getting back on the pitch to help save the planet.

The 75-year-old Brazilian will kick off Shell's Make the Future London festival alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and will host a virtual penalty shootout between student football teams in Nigeria and London.

Each group will have to jump on kinetic tiles to 'score' a certain amount of energy at the high-tech game, being held this Thursday at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It comes after Pele teamed up with Shell in 2014 to launch the world's first human and solar-powered football pitch in one of the poorest parts of Brazil.


Speaking about the launch, Pele said: "I've seen first-hand how Shell has brought bright energy ideas to life, having helped launch the first kinetic pitch in Rio. And I've seen how this amazing technology has reinvigorated the community, allowing Brazilian children to follow their passion in sport and learn about future energy solutions in the process.

"I'm so excited to be here again and see the legacy of these pitches - how they continue to be used every day - while testing out this new energy challenge at Make the Future London."

In 2014, Pele fronted the opening of the world's first player-powered soccer ground at Rio de Janeiro slum Morro da Mineira.

The field featured 200 energy-capturing tiles that harnessed player movements so the field's floodlights could be lit.

British company Pavegen designed the project, and their technology could be used to power cities. Similar kinetic tiles have been used in shopping centres and airports.

Pele got emotional over the project when it was launched two years ago, tearing up in one interview as he said he hoped the new field would help spark local kids' interest not only in football but in science.

27 Jun, 2016 2:30pm
3 minutes to read

The three-time FIFA World Cup winner - whose birth name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento - said at the time: "My father named me Edson after Thomas Edison."
He added he hoped the next generation of Brazilians will help bring the country as much success in science as it has had in football, saying: "I'm sure that soon the number one scientists in the world are going to be Brazilians."

Celebrities including Countdown's Rachel Riley, 'The Last Leg' comic Alex Brooker and Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing are also attending the four-day Make The Future festival from Thursday.

The trio have already teamed up to investigate green innovations on Channel 4 show 'Reverse Engineers'.

At Make The Future, they will be testing innovations including a salt water powered car and technology that produces fuel from waste coffee beans.

Malena Cutuli, Global Head of Integrated Brand Communications and Capability at Shell, said, "It's crucial that Shell supports young entrepreneurs in creating solutions to real-world energy challenges, and we hope that this challenge will inspire more young people to come up with bright energy ideas of their own."

For more information on Make the Future, search #makethefuture and visit