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Pele Biography

Posted On December 1st, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Edson Arantes do Nascimento

Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento)

Pele is one of the greatest soccer players ever. In his career, he has scored over 1200 goals, including several World Club, World Cup Championships and has covered 1360 games. This automatically translates to one goal per game.

Early Life

Pele was born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento on  23rd of October 1940. He happens to be the son of Dondinho (a Fluminense footballer) and his mother was Maria Celeste Arantes. His parents named him after Thomas Edison, the American inventor, however in order to create a unique name; his parents removed the “I” from the name and called him ‘Edson’. As the reports suggest, there seems to be a mistake on his documents, including the birth certificate and shows his name as “Edison”. His family originally nicknamed him as “Dico”. He received the name “Pele” only once he reached school, where the name was given to him according to the way he pronounced the name of his favourite player, Bilé. If we were to read his autobiography, Pele says that he had no idea how he got the name or what it meant. The only thing he knew that it was Hebrew for miracle and the word seemed to have no meaning in Portuguese.

Pele was brought up in Bauru, São Paulo and lived his life in poverty. He made some extra money while working as a servant in various tea shops. As a child, he could not afford proper football and was found playing with a sock filled with newspaper or a grapefruit tied with a string. When he turned 15, he later joined the junior team of Santos FC. Prior to joining the senior team, he played in the junior club for one season.

While his time at Santos, Pele got an opportunity to play along some of the gifted players of the time including Coutinho, Pepe and Zito. On 7th September 1956, Pelé made his debut for the Santos team and scored one goal against Corinthians. In the season of 1957, he was selected in a starting place and then he became the top scorer in the league, at the age of 16.

Personal Life

In 1966, Pele was married to Rosemarie Cholby, however they ended up being divorced in 1978. He later married a psychologist called Assiria Seixas Lemos. He had three children out of his first marriage.

Soccer Career
On July 7, 1957, Pele was asked to be a part of the national team of Brazil. He played his first international match against Argentina, in which he scored the first ever goal for his country. He then played his first international match against USSR in the World Cup of 1958. Pele happened to be the youngest player of the tournament and scored his first goal in the quarter finals against Wales. This was the deciding goal of the match, which took Brazil into the semi-finals. At just 17 years, Pele became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal on June 19, 1958. One of the goals that he scored in this World Cup is still considered to be one of the best goals in the history of soccer.

While Pele was still in the team, Brazil won three World Cups championships of 1962, 1966 as well as 1970. As soon as the 1962 World Cup ended, a few of the wealthiest European clubs wanted to sign Pele; however Brazil then declared him as the “national treasure” of the country.

On November 19th, 1969, pele scored the 1000th goal, which is now known as the “O Milesimo”. According to him, the goal that he scored against Sao Paulo at the Rua Javari stadium in 1959 happens to be the greatest goal of his life. Pele scored a “gol de placa” in March 1961. This goal was so impressive that it is still being remembered as the most beautiful goal. As far as the history is concerned, one of the most significant moments were when the Nigerian Civil War declared a ceasefire for 48 hours, just to watch Pele in an exhibition match.

On July 18th, 1971, Pele played his final international match in Rio de Janeiro against Yugoslavia.

After Soccer

Jose Alves de Araujo, a long time friend of Pele owns a company called Prime Licensing. This company is responsible for maintaining Pele’s brand along with his existing contracts including Pele L’uomo, Puma AG, Fremantle Media, Pelestation, QVC along with Pele Arena coffee places. Pele is active with his ambassadorial work for several organisations across the world. He was appointed as the UN ambassador for environment and ecology, in the year 1992. He was appointed as “Extraordinary Minister for Sport” in 1995 and was also the recipient of the Brazil’s Gold Medal. Later on he also served as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. He took active steps to eliminate corruption within the Brazil football that was later referred to as the “Pele Law”. In 1997, he was honoured as the “knight” in the British Empire.

He has worked on several autobiographies, documentaries and semi-documentaries, along with a few musicals. Pelé was brought in as the Honorary President on August 1st, 2010 to revive the team “New York Cosmos”, so as to prepare them for the Major League Soccer.


Diego Armando Maradona Biography

Posted On September 10th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona is considered to be one of the best footballers of all times. He happens to be an Argentinean player and currently manages the Argentine National Team. As far as his international career is concerned, he scored a total of 34 goals and earned as many as 91 caps. He appeared in 4 FIFA world cup tournaments and captained a win for his team in 1986 against West Germany. He was endowed with the “Golden Ball Award” as the best player of the tournament. During his professional club career, he played for Boca Juniors, Argentinos Juniors, Sevilla, Napoli and Newell’s Old Boys. Maradona was one of the first players to receive world-record fees for his contracts. Amidst several controversies, Maradona became the head coach of the Argentinean National Team in 2008.

Early Years

Diego Maradona was born on 30th October 1960 and belonged to Lanus, Buenos Aries. Although being born in Lanus, he was raised in a town called ‘Villa Fiorito’ located on the southern outskirts of the province. He happened to be the first son in the family after three daughters. He also had two younger brothers called Hugo and Eduardo, both of whom became successful football players.

While playing in his neighborhood club called “Estrella Roja”, he was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 10. He joined as a junior with the Argentinos Juniors and as a ball boy, he amused the audience with his football skills during the half time break.

Personal Life

Diego Maradona was born to mother Dalma Salvadore Franco and father Diego Maradona Snr. On 7th November, 1989, Maradona married his long-time fiancée in Buenos Aries called Claudia Villafane. He has two daughters Dalma Nerea and Giannina Dinorah. Maradona has admitted in his autobiography that he has not been faithful with his wife and refers to her as the only ‘love’ of his life.

Maradona and his wife divorced in 2004, on mutual consent and continued to remain friends thereafter. They are often spotted together on FIFA events and other sporting occasions. After the divorce, Claudia went on to pursue her career as a theatre producer.

During the proceedings of his divorce, Maradona revealed that he fathered a son called Diego Sinagra in Italy. However, the Italian courts ruled this out in 1993. As of now, Diego Sinagra is a footballer in Italy.

Football Career

Maradona made his first professional football debut on 20th October 1976 with a club called Argentinos Juniors. He played with the club for five years, until he was offered a £1m contract with Boca Juniors. He received his first league medal while playing with the squad in 1982. After the world cup of 1982, he was transferred to Barcelona, Spain for a contract fee of £5m. During his time in Barcelona, he used to get in disputes with the team managers especially the club president called Josep Lluís Núñez. He was then transferred to Napoli, Italy for a world-record fee of £6.9m.

Maradona reached the peak of his football career during his time with Napoli. He led the team to several Italian Championships and soon became one of the most sought after players of the world

International Career

During his time at Napoli, Maradona found his fame in international football. While playing for the Argentina National Team, he played 4 FIFA Tournaments. He led the Argentinean team to the World Cup in 1986 and came second during the 1990 World Cup.

His full international debut happened when he was only 16 on 27th February 1977, in a match against Hungary. The goal made by Maradona during the quarter final match against England in the 1986 world cup is voted as the ‘Goal of the Century’ through an online poll conducted by FIFA in 2002. It is regarded as one of the greatest goals in the history of football.

Playing Style

Diego Maradona was extremely technical with the football, along with being a strategic team player. He could effectively run through limited spaces and would often fool the defenders. Apart from being short, he was extremely strong on the field and could hold the ball for longer duration, until he spotted a gap or a teammate.

Dribbling at full speed is one of his trademark moves and he is known to deliver accurate passes while approaching the goal. A reverse-cross pass shot, also known as the “rabona” was one of his preferred shots. Maradona has proved to be a dangerous free kicker. Diego Maradona was a predominant left-footer and he would often use his left foot, even if the ball would be ideally placed for a right foot shot.

Problems

While playing for Napoli in Italy, Maradona faced a lot of personal problems. He continued the use of cocaine and faced a fine of US $70,000 for missing practices and games, apparently due to stress. There was a huge scandal regarding the existence of an illegitimate son and he was also suspected of his relationship with Camorra. He was banned for 15 months from Napoli since he failed a drug test for cocaine. Maradona quit the club in disgrace in the year 1992. Thereafter he joined Sevilla, after a break of 2 years from professional football.

Due to his addiction to cocaine, his play was affected greatly. His health suffered majorly after his retirement and he had to be rushed to the emergency room while vacationing in Uruguay. The doctors detected damage in the heart muscles and traces of cocaine were also found in his blood. On his return to Argentina, he moved to Cuba to follow a strict drug rehab plan.

Maradona is known to have a tendency to put on weight and suffered from obesity. In March 2005, he had to undergo gastric bypass surgery. He appeared on Argentinean national television on May 8, 2007 and claimed that he had not consumed drugs or alcohol in the last two years.


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