Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, was a Brazilian football player who was born on October 23, 1940, in Três Coraçes, Brazil.
He was arguably the most well-known and well-paid athlete in the world at the time. He was a member of the three World Cup-winning Brazilian national teams (1958, 1962, and 1970).
Interestingly, Pelé was initially turned down by some important clubs in the city of So Paulo after playing for a small league team in Bauru, So Paulo State.
He eventually joined the Santos Football Club in 1956 and helped the team to win nine So Paulo league titles as well as the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup in 1962 and 1963.
Pele’s Legacy: He was given the nickname “Pérola Negra” (Latin for “Black Pearl”) and became a national hero in Brazil. He was an exceptional kicker who also had a great ability to read the movements of other players.
The Brazilian government designated Pelé a national treasure following the 1958 World Cup to deter lucrative offers from European clubs and guarantee that he would stay in Brazil. He scored his 1,000th goal on November 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class game.
Pelé became famous all around the world thanks to his exciting play and propensity for spectacular goals. To fully capitalize on his fame, his squad Santos went on tour abroad. When he and his squad visited Nigeria in 1967, the civil war there was put on hold for 48 hours so that everyone could witness the great player.
In 1978, Pelé received the International Peace Award. He was selected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999 as well as by the French sports magazine L’Equipe in 1980. In Santos, Brazil, the Pelé Museum debuted in 2014.
In addition to his achievements in sports, he also wrote and starred in some best-selling autobiographies and documentary and semi-documentary films. Additionally, he created a variety of musical compositions, notably the soundtrack for the movie Pelé (1977)
Pele many Wins: Pele had made his debut for club side Santos two years earlier at the age of 15, scoring in a 7-1 win over Corinthians de Santo Andre.
It was the first of 643 goals he would score for the club in official competitions over 19 years, although Santos claims the total is more than 1,000 once exhibition matches – often against high-profile European opposition are taken into account.
At the 1962 World Cup, Pele, then 21, scored a brilliant individual goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico to open their campaign, but was injured in the next match and watched from the sidelines as his team defended their title.
The final part of his trilogy of World Cup wins was his most iconic. After being fouled out of the 1966 tournament in England, he was the fulcrum of a thrilling attacking team that swept to the title in 1970, scoring the opening goal in a 4-1 win over Italy in the final.
Pele’s Net worth: In 2015, Forbes ranked Pelé as the 10th-highest-paid retired athlete from his $15 million in endorsement deals from companies such as Procter & Gamble, Volkswagen and Emirates Airlines.
Pele, the Brazilian soccer player who rose to fame and became a household name, passed away in his homeland on December 29, 2022. Pele was able to transcend the realm of athletics thanks to his unique combination of soccer prowess, bright grin, and faith in the transforming potential of the game he cherished. He was 82.