Who is Pele: Biography, Personal Life, Career and Achievements
Who is Pele - Biography?
According to Weebly, Pele, by name of Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940 in a small city in Brazil called Três Corações “Three Hearts”.
Just before Pele was born, electricity was brought into his family’s house. His parents decided to name him after famous scientist Thomas Edison, the founder of electricity, hence the name Edson. Pele was raised in a poor family and often played soccer with inadequate equipment such as socks stuffed with rags.
Pele was inspired to play soccer by his dad who he viewed as the best athlete he had ever seen. However, when Pele’s father tore a ligament in his knee and couldn’t work anymore, there were many financial problems in their family. His mother told him, "Don't play, because your father played and then he got hurt and now he can't provide for the family. Get an education." Pele knew at the time she was right but eventually his mother told him, " You were born to play soccer. You have the talent to play soccer. But you're never going to be a great man unless you go to school and study." Pele says that was the one of the biggest lessons that his mother taught him.
In his youth, Pele played in indoor leagues, and this helped increase his speed of reactions. He rose through the youth leagues and at the age of 15 was signed by Santos FC. He was soon marked out as a future star. By the age of 16, he was the top scorer in the Brazilian league and received a call up for the Brazilian national side. Interest was such that the Brazilian President declared Pele a national treasure to prevent him being bought by foreign clubs such as Manchester United.
|Pele's career. Photo. Ktktlaocai|
Debut: Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at the age of 16 against Argentina in a 1-2 defeat at the Maracana. He scored a goal on his debut to become the youngest to score for Brazil at 16 years and 9 months.
Rise to Glory: The footballing world first witnessed the talent of Pelé in the 1958 FIFA World Cup. He scored a hattrick against France in the semi-final and then netted a couple of goals in the final against host nation, Sweden in a 5-2 win.
Brazil retained the World Cup four years later but injury caused Pelé to sit out after the first couple of matches.
The 1966 FIFA World Cup turned out to be a disappointing one for both Pelé and Brazil as the star player faced a number of brutal challenges and was injured as a result. Brazil was knocked out in the group stage.
Pelé returned to have one last shot at the World Cup in 1970 and teamed up with young stars like Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third World Cup. Pelé ended his World Cup career scoring 12 goals in 14 games.
Pelé’s stardom grew throughout the 1960s. Legend says the two factions of the Nigerian Civil War decided upon a 48-hour ceasefire so that they could watch Pelé during an exhibition match in Lagos.
Low Points: The 1962 FIFA World Cup remains a disappointing one for Pelé on a personal note. A thigh injury caused him to miss the tournament after the first two games and watch from the sidelines as his team retained the World Cup crown.
Club Career: After signing for Santos, Pelé became the leading goal scorer in the Brazilian club’s history. He also led them to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores titles.
The superstar received a number of offers from European clubs but Brazilian President Jânio Quadros declared him a national treasure making it difficult for him to ply his trade in another country, as reported by Sportskeeda.
Achievements & Records
Pele went on to score over 1,000 goals in professional games. He scored his 1000th goal on 19 November 1969 at Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. It sparked worldwide celebrations. His strike rate in international games was one of the highest ever. In 92 international appearances, he scored 77 goals. In all games, Pele scored 1,283 goals in 1,366 matches, a ratio of 0.94.
In the domestic league, Pele made his debut for Santos aged just 16. He played for Santos in the Brazilian league from until the 1972-73 season.
Pele finished his career in the lucrative US league. In 1975, he signed for New York Cosmos and played three seasons. He led the New York Cosmos to the US title in 1977 – the year of his retirement.
At the age of 17, Pelé became the youngest footballer to win the FIFA World Cup.
Pelé has two Guinness Book of World Records in his name. He is the only footballer to have won the FIFA World Cup on three occasions. The second record was for scoring the most number of career goals in football. He scored 1283 career goals in 1363 games.
Pelé has scored a record 92 hat tricks in his career.
As said by Biography Online, Pele was married three times and had several children, some out of wedlock. In 1970, he was investigated by the authoritarian Brazilian government for suspected sympathy to left-wing political prisoners. Pele was investigated for handing out leaflets calling for the release of political prisoners. After the investigation, he did not get involved in politics again.
After retiring has gone on to be a great ambassador for football and sport in general. In 1992, Pelé was appointed a UN ambassador for ecology and the environment. He was also appointed a UNESCO goodwill ambassador. He is not only one of the most gifted footballers of his generation, but, also a mild-mannered man who used his fame and prestige for a positive effect.
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