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All about The Football Legend, ‘Pelé’

Football’s greatest player ever, Pelé died in São Paulo, Brazil on December 29, at the age of 82. His birth name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento. He had been suffering with health problems for many years. 

Widely regarded as one of soccer’s greatest players, the Brazilian player was one of the most well-known athletes of the 20th century and the only male football player to have won three FIFA World Cup championships (1958, 1962, and 1970).  He played for Brazil and club sides Santos and New York Cosmos as a striker. Pelé was the Brazilian national team’s all-time top goalscorer, with 77 goals in 92 games.

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Why Do We Call Him Pelé?

The nickname Pelé emerged when a young Edson couldn’t pronounce the name of goalkeeper Bilé, who played in his hometown. He would always say Pelé.

Pelé’s Achievements

1. In 1957, at the age of 16, he made his national football (soccer) team debut. 

2. He scored three goals against France in the 1958 World Cup semifinal, and two more against Sweden in the championship match. 

3. He was later recognized as a national treasure by the Brazilian government. To prevent him from being traded to foreign teams, Brazilian President Jânio Quadros had Pelé declared a national treasure in 1961. 

4. The Brazilian football legend is also the youngest player ever to win a FIFA World Cup at the age of 17 in 1958. 

5. He is credited with scoring a world record of 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career.

6. Pelé was named Fifa’s Player of the Century in 2000.

7. He holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of goals scored by an individual. 

8. Pelé scored his 1000th goal on November 19, 1969. November 19 is simply known as Pelé Day in Santos. There is a statue of Pelé in Rio de Janeiro that was unveiled in 2018. There is also a museum in his honour.

9. In Brazil he is often called “Pérola Negra”, which means Black Pearl.

10. When he was only 15 years old, he was signed by Santos. In his debut league match he scored four goals. He was discovered by another Brazilian player Waldemar de Brito. Brito at that time had said that Pelé was going to be the greatest football player in the world

11. In 1999, he was voted as the Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Association.


Life After Retirement

In 1977 Pelé completed his career and retired after he led the New York Cosmos in the direction of the US title. He served as a Goodwill UNICEF ambassador for many years, promoting peace and support for vulnerable children.

“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint,” Pelé famously said.

RIP Football Legend, Pelé.

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