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Pelé
Pelé

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE (born October 23, 1940), nicknamed Pelé, is a former Brazilian football player, considered by some to be the finest player of all time. He was an exceptionally versatile footballer, two-footed, an extremely successful goal scorer, highly skilled at dribbling and passing, and had remarkably good defensive skills for a striker. Together with Diego maradona he was named best player of the 20th. century by a fan poll organized by Fifa.


Contents

Biography

Pelé was born in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He started his football career in Santos in 1956, at the age of 15, and played in his first international match only ten months later. He would stay with Santos for his Brazilian career.

In 1958, Pelé became the youngest ever World Cup winner in Sweden at 17. He played in two more Brazilian World Cup-winning teams, in 1962 and 1970. The 1970 team, featuring famous players like Rivelino, Jairzinho, and Tostão, is considered one of the greatest teams ever to compete in a World Cup. He missed most of the 1962 World Cup due to an injury sustained in the early stage of the tournament. In the 1966 World Cup he suffered a serious injury again, but during the last game that Brazil team disputed (when it was disqualified to the next phase).

After his retirement from Brazilian football on October 3, 1974, he joined the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. He played his last game as a professional on October 1, 1977 in front of a capacity crowd at Giants Stadium against his old club, Santos; he played the first half with the Cosmos and the second half with Santos. The exhibition game was sold out six weeks beforehand. He also played in a friendly match with the Lebanese club Nejmeh in 1974 (see Football in Lebanon).

In 1995, President Cardoso appointed Pelé to the position of Minister of Sports.

Pelé is a long-standing contributor for children's rights at UNICEF and acts as the figurehead of a charity for erectile dysfunction. Pelé is certainly one of the most famous man in football, with his nickname being recognized even by those unfamiliar with the sport.

In 2005, Pelé drew international media attention due to the imprisonment of Edson Cholbi Nascimento, his son, who was arrested in an operation to dismantle a drug gang in southeastern Brazil. Nascimento, 35, was arrested along with some 50 other people after an eight-month investigation into a cocaine trafficking operation in the port city of Santos.

Accolades

Pelé is in third place in the list of all-time top scorers in World Cup play, with 12 goals, and he is the only player who won three World Cups with his team. He ended his career with a total of 1281 goals in 1363 matches, becoming the most prolific goal scorers ever. In his 92 appearances for the Brazilian team, he scored 77 goals.

He was awarded Brazil's Gold Medal for outstanding services to the sport, before becoming Sports Minister in 1994. In 1997, he was given an honorary British knighthood.

In 1992, Pelé was appointed a United Nations Ambassador for Ecology and the Environment.

In 1995, he was appointed an Ambassador for UNESCO at the Goodwill Games.

He was voted athlete of the century by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1999.

In December 2000, Pelé was named Footballer of the Century by FIFA.

In the same year, Pelé received the Laureus World Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement Award from South African President Nelson Mandela.

Pelé is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Trivia

In 1970, the two factions involved in a civil war in Nigeria agreed for a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pelé play an exhibition game in Lagos.

Pelé is the first sports figure featured on a video game with the Atari 2600 game Pelé's Soccer.

After winning his second World Cup in 1962, wealthy European clubs offered massive fees to sign the young player, but the government of Brazil declared Pelé an official national treasure to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.

Pelé was one of the first black people to be featured on the cover of Life Magazine.

Pelé has published several best-selling autobiographies, starred in documentary and semi-documentary films and composed various musical pieces, including the entire soundtrack for the film 'Pelé' in 1977.

Tarcisio Burgnich, the famous Italian defender who marked Pelé in the 1970 World Cup Finals: "I told myself before the game, 'he's made of skin and bones just like everyone else' - but I was wrong".

See also

External links

id:Pele da:Pelé de:Pelé es:Pelé, Edson Arantes do Nascimento et:Pelé fr:Pelé gl:Pelé it:Pelé he:פלה nl:Pelé no:Pelé ja:ペレ pl:Pelé pt:Pelé fi:Pelé sv:Pelé (fotbollsspelare) zh:比利

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