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Famous Soccer Superstar Pele

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Portuguese pronunciation, best known as Pelé, is a former Brazilian footballer widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Nicknamed “The King of Football”, he is considered one of the most famous footballers in the world. The greatest footballer of all time.  

In 1999, he was selected as Player of the Century by the IFFHS association. That same year, he was crowned Athlete of the Century by the IOC and included in TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2013, he was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur. Let’s get to know this great player briefly with W88!

A career that emerged from the youth ranks  

Discovered at a young age, Pelé began playing for Santos Futebol Clube at age 15, entered the national team at age 16 and won his first World Cup at age 17. During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and is the only player to date who has done so.

Pelé is Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer with 77 goals in 92 matches. At the club level, he is Santos’ all-time leading goalscorer, and led the team to the Copa Libertadores title in 1962 and 1963.

“Pelé’s explosive style of play and tendency to score spectacular goals made him a worldwide star. Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has become a global ambassador for football and has had many acting and commercial ventures. In 2010, he was appointed President Emeritus of New York Cosmos.  

Pelé is also known for associating the phrase “The Beautiful Game” with football. A prolific goalscorer, Pelé was known for his ability to strike the ball powerfully and accurately with both feet as well as anticipate opponents’ movements on the field. 

Early in his career, Pelé played in various attacking formations and used his dribbling skills to beat opponents. Later, he played a playmaking role behind the attacking strikers.  

In Brazil, Pelé was lionized as a national hero for his achievements in football and for his outspoken support of policies that improve the social conditions of the poor. Throughout his career and retirement, Pelé received many individual and group awards for his performances in football, for his records of achievement, and for his legacy in the sport.”

Here is my attempt at translating the passage into English:


Pele was born in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil, the son of Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born João Ramos do Nascimento) and Celeste Arantes. W88 He was the eldest of two siblings. He was named after the American inventor Thomas Edison. His parents decided to drop the “i” and call him “Edson”, but there was a mistake on his birth certificate, so many documents listed his name as “Edison” instead of “Edson”.

Origin of Pele’s Name

He was initially nicknamed Dico by his family. He received the nickname “Pele” during his school years, supposedly because of the name of his favorite player, the Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bile, which he mispronounced as Pele, but the more he clarified, the more he was called that.  

In his autobiography, Pele admitted that he and his friends at the time did not know what the nickname meant. Aside from the mispronunciation above, and Pele meaning “miracle” in Hebrew, the word does not have a prominent meaning in Portuguese.

A Miserable Childhood

Pele was raised in poverty in Bauru in the state of São Paulo. He made money by working in a tea shop as a waiter. He was taught football by his father, but he did not have a suitable football and often played with a tied bundle of newspaper.  

As a child he played for several amateur teams: Sete de Setembro, Canto do Rio, São Paulinho and Amériquinha. Pele won three consecutive São Paulo state titles with the Bauru Athletic Junior Club (coach Waldemar de Brito) from 1954 to 1956. He also dominated futebol de salão competitions in the region and won several championships with the local Radium team.   

According to Pele, indoor football presented serious challenges; he said it was much faster than outdoor football and players had to think faster because everyone was closer. Pele praised indoor football for helping him think better on the spot.

In addition, indoor football allowed him to play with adults when he was about 14 years old. In one tournament Pele participated in, he was initially considered too young to play, but Pele eventually finished the tournament as the top scorer with fourteen or fifteen goals. “That gave me a lot of confidence,” Pele said, “I knew then I would not be afraid of anything that would come.”

See more interesting articles from W88.

Pele outside of football

Pele was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1994. Pele was appointed Special Minister of Sports by the Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1995. During this time he introduced a law known as “RUU Pele” to fight corruption in Brazilian football. In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him honorably at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Pele and supermodel Claudia Schiffer helped start the 2006 World Cup final. 

Pele wrote several autobiographies, acted in documentary films and composed music, including the soundtrack for the 1977 film Pele. He starred in the 1981 Escape to Victory film, depicting a football match between Allied prisoners of war and a German team during World War Two. Pele starred in the film alongside actors Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone, as well as other footballers from the 1960s and 1970s.

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