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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.


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