Who Is Pele? 10 Amazing Facts About the Soccer Legend
Who Is Pele? 10 Amazing Facts About the Soccer Legend
He is often hailed as the greatest soccer player of all time. But who is Pele exactly? Learn more with these 10 amazing facts about the Brazilian soccer superstar.
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What does the name Pele mean to you?
Even if you're not a soccer fan, it's more than likely you've heard the name Pele mentioned in the sports world. Pele may now be long retired, but at one point in time, he was one of the biggest names in sports.
But, who is Pele exactly, you ask?
Aside from being hailed as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, there's more to Pele than just the title alone. We're taking a closer look at the life of Pele and uncovering some lesser-known facts.
Learn more with these 10 amazing facts about the Brazilian soccer superstar.
He Began His Soccer Career at 15
Pele was born in 1940 in Brazil. As a young child, he played in many youth soccer clubs and was always regarded as the top player in the league. At the young age of 15, he signed to Santos and began his professional soccer career.
From here, it was only up.
During this first game, he played forward and scored four goals. It was during this first game that his rivals know he was someone to watch out far.
While he has now been retired for over 40 years, he is still regarded by many as the best soccer player in history.
He Was Named After Thomas Edison
While the nickname "Pele" is what the sporting world knows him by, Pele's legal name is actually Edson. However, due to an error on the birth certificate, he became known as "Edison".
If you're wondering how did Pele get his name, it all dates back to his classmates.
Originally, he was nicknamed "Dico" by his family which transitioned to "Pele" during his school days. While the origin of the nickname is not totally understood, one theory is that it was given due to his mispronunciation of the name of his favorite player Bile.
However, in his autobiography, Pele states neither himself nor his friends have any idea where the name came from or what it means.
He Grew Up in Poverty
Although Pele's father was a famous soccer player, the family grew up very poor in the state of Sao Paulo.
To earn extra money, Pele worked in tea shops and also as a servant to help his family with bills.
While he was taught how to play soccer by his father, the family could not afford an actual soccer ball and would practice with a sock stuff with newspaper or even a grapefruit.
But, despite this poverty, Pele was able to rise against it and come out on top. As his career blossomed, he eventually became known as one of the highest paying soccer players in the world.
He Was the Recipient of Many Awards and World Titles
The Brazilian government also declared him a "national treasure" in 1961. This was to prevent other football clubs from taking him out of the country. While still possible, it was it legally difficult for him to play for outside teams.
In 1999 he Was Voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. That same year, Pele was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee.
Nowadays, Pele's net worth is said to be around 100 million dollars
He Was Married 3 Times
Pele was married three times and was allegedly reported to have had many affairs.
As a result, Pele has many children. Though the exact number has not been biologically proven, it's regarded to be at least seven.
In 2016 and at the age of 73, Pele married his 41-year-old partner Marcia Aoki.
He Is the Only Player to Win 3 World Cups
Pele is the only soccer player to have been on three World Cup-winning teams.
It was the 1958 World Cup that Pele became known internationally as one of the best players in the world.
When Brazil lost to Uraguay in the 1950 World Cup final, Pele's father was seen crying after the game. Pele promised him that one day he would win a World Cup. As it turns out, Pele was able to make this dream come true for his father not just one, but three times in total.
He Is the Most Successful League Goal-Scorer in the World
Throughout his career, Pele scored 1281 goals in 1363 games. According to the international federation of football history and statistics, this awarded him title to the most goals in history.
He scored 92 hat tricks and once scored eight goals in a single match.
With these numbers, it's no surprise Pele was once regarded as the highest paid soccer player in the world.
He Worked for The Government
After retiring from soccer in 1977, Pele decided to work for The Government and fulfill some of his passions.
Between the years of 1995 and 1998, he served as Brazil's Extraordinary Minister of Sport. From here, he also served as a United Nations ambassador and worked in the ecology and environment sector.
He Has His Own Day
November 19th is officially regarded as "Pele Day" in Santos.
This day marks the day in which he scored his 1000th goal in 1969. This goal was scored from a penalty kick and was a highly anticipated moment in all of Brazil. After that goal, the day officially became known as Pele Day and has continued to be celebrated in Santos.
Afterall, shouldn't all legends have their own day?
He Received a Lifetime Achievement Award
South African President Nelson Mandela presented Pele with a Lifetime Achievement award.
Nelson stated that watching Pele play was like watching the delight of a child combined with the extraordinary grace of a man. He also awarded Pele for his kind and compassionate nature and praised him for being a hero.
So, Who is Pele?
While Pele is arguably the best soccer player in history, these facts point to the fact that he was so much more than that.
So, who is Pele?
Pele was the recipient of countless awards, a player that rose from poverty and a human being that was highly praised by those around him.
It's clear Pele has established a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.
For any soccer fanatics, visit our website for more like this and see how our director was a teammate of Pele!