Born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento on the 23rd of October 1940 in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil as the son of Dondinho, a Fluminense football player. Initially, he despised his now famous nickname Pelé. Despite being dubbed “Dico” by his family, the nickname Pelé was jeeringly bestowed upon him by a bunch of school friends after he mispronounced the surname of his favorite player Bilé. Edson’s increasing protestations only ensured the name stuck even more firmly.
On Friday 23 October 2020 a football legend celebrated his birthday – The King: Brazilian soccer great Pele turned 80. Pele’s lengthy string of stellar performances during his football career as a striker saw him turn into a legendary global icon. Due to the global pandemic and a succession of health issues over the years Pele celebrated his birthday isolating with family members at his mansion in Guaruja, Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Appearing in a jovial mood for a video interview with FIFA, a teary-eyed O Rei (The King) revealed the only thing he missed was landing on the moon and when they played football on the moon, he would go there for a little kickaround.
Comments from former team-mates & friends included: “Pele revolutionized the world of football. Pele united families, united countries. Pele halted a war.” Brazil’s most internationally capped player of all time “Cafu’ revealed in an interview a personal highlight of his career was when he had the honor of receiving the 2002 World Cup from none other than Pele himself. Cafu represented Brazil in four FIFA World Cups and the only player to appear in three finals, yet in 2002 the moment was simply too great it made him cry.
Pele entered semi-retirement at the end of the 1972 season, but his love of the game saw him return to occasionally play for Santos. However, at the end of the 1974 season he eventually stopped competing in official matches after having spent 19 seasons with the Brazilian club. Two years later, Pele returned from semi-retirement signing with New York Cosmos for the 1975 NSAL season. On the 1st of October 1977, aged 36, the legend retired from professional football for good after playing in an exhibition game for New York Cosmos against his former Brazilian team Santos.
Gambling & Football
In the 1990s Pele went on to serve as the Minister of Sport for Brazil, according to reports during his tenure he generated a part of football’s income from gambling. In recent years gambling has become increasingly popular with sports fans across the world. The numerous potential pitfalls associated with online gambling is also a hotly contested topic widely publicized by the global media. If you are interested to safely experience the excitement provided by online casinos from the comfort of your home, ensure you refer to Top10Casinos.com while searching out some of the best rated online casinos. Their expert advice provided by experienced industry insiders will lead you to discover the best casinos that offer valuable bonuses to new players while helping you avoid impressive-looking casinos that may incorporate unfair practices.
Career Achievements & Awards
Pele’s extraordinary career as a striker saw his name included in an untold number of official honorary lists and records, we include just a few of the highlights below. In 1999, the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) voted Pele as the “World Player of the Century”. That same year the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted Pele as their “Athlete of the Century”, a title he shares with Diego Maradona. In 2004 he officially became part of the FIFA 100 list of “greatest living footballers” the legend also made the Time’s list of “100 most important people of the 20th century”. His career score of 1279 goals in 1363 matches is also recognized as a Guinness World Record.
Despite retiring over 40 years ago, young players from much later football generations across the world still aspire to become another Pele even though many never had the honor to see him play. All players since have aspired to become his equal, a few even managed to come close, and a select few managed to approach his rarified status by equaling just one or two of his extraordinary records.
In December 2020, after standing for over 40 years, Barca skipper Lionel Messi equals Pele’s incredible record of most goals for one club as Brazilian hails Barcelona star’s 643rd goal.
Arguably Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo ought to be considered in the same bracket as iconic duo Pele and Diego Maradona.
Career Stats, Titles & Records
Named after famous US inventor Thomas Edison, Pele first signed with Brazilian club Santos at the tender age of 15, at 16 he became a member of the Brazilian national team. On the 7th of September 1956 in his debut league match he managed to score four goals against FC Corinthians. He went on to score a world record 1283 goals in 1363 games 77 of which for Brazil. Pele captured three World Cup trophies, two World Championship trophies, and a remarkable nine Sao Paulo State Championship trophies.
In 1958 aged just 17, Pele entered the record books as the youngest ever World Cup winner after scoring twice in the final against Sweden. He is the only player ever to have captured the FIFA World Cup three times and in time became Brazil’s leading all-time Goalscorer with 77 goals in 92 matches. His club-level career record of 643 goals in 656 matches turned Pele into the leading all-time Goalscorer for Santos.