Pele - the legend on the football pitch

1 year ago

Pele - the "king" of world football has rested at the age of 82 after a period of fighting with illness. An iconic player in the history of world football, Pele won the World Cup with Brazil three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970 - something no other player has ever done.

Pele's real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, born on October 23, 1940 in Tres Coracoes, Minas Gerais state, southern Brazil, into a poor family. He soon showed a natural talent with the round ball. No one knows exactly why or when, Edson is called Pele. It makes absolutely no sense in Portuguese. And with Edson, it doesn't sound good either.

> Rewatch Pele's free live stream football Highlights at ULS

Pele only began to like being called "Pele" when he first enjoyed the joy of winning. He even built his own team to compete with other street opponents and named it September 7 (Brazil's National Day), later changed it to "Shoeless Team", because all of them walk on foot. Are not. Aniel Chaves, one of Pele's first friends in Bauru, said: "He was extremely humble as a young boy, from Tres Coracoes with his family, had dreams like all the boys of his time. That point: become a professional footballer, play for a big club. He is a genius with amazing magic, when he was only 13 or 14 years old he was able to score 5 goals against Flamengo da Vila Mariana, the youth champion in Sao Paulo. The results were then published in the Bauru newspaper.”

To pursue his passion for football, Pele used to work as a worker in a shoe factory. If that job wasn't enough, the 13-year-old boy had to work part-time at a dry cleaner. But Pele was not born to be a worker. Fate chose him as "King". So at the age of 15, Pele went to Santos and scored on his debut. At the age of 16, Pele was already the star of the team and the top scorer of the tournament, then was called up to the Brazil national team, went on to score in his first game and became the youngest player to score for the Selecao, a record. So far no one has been able to break it. Just Fontaine, the French striker and number one goalscorer at the 1958 World Cup, said: "When I see Pele play, it makes me feel like I should hang up my boots. Sometimes I feel as if football was invented for this magical player.”

Pele's performances made everyone explode and even opponents turned to cheer for him. They enjoy the "magic" football that this striker creates. Former Swedish player Sigvard Parling admitted: "When Pele scored, to be honest I felt like applauding."

Pele's influence spread around the world, although his entire career was mainly associated with Santos club in Brazil. In 1969, two factions involved in the Nigerian civil war agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire to watch Pele play a friendly match in Lagos. The 1970 World Cup was the last major tournament Pele wore a yellow and green shirt and once again he was crowned champion. From his youth to the twilight of his career, Pele has always been one of the brightest stars in world football.

Read more: Pele The King of Goals

Three-time Ballon d'Or winner, Johan Cruyff said: "Pele is the only footballer who transcends the boundaries of logic. Pele is the greatest player of all time. He reigned for 20 years. years. No one can compare with him."

Bobby Moore, captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup, commented: "Pele is the most complete player I have ever seen, he has everything. Good feet. Magic in the air. Fast. Strong. Can beat anyone with skill. Can run faster than anyone. Only 1.73m tall, but he seems to be a giant athlete on the field. Perfect balance and vision. unbelievable. He's the greatest because he can do anything and everything on a football field. A player that can play in any position."

In 2013, Pele received the honorary FIFA Ballon d'Or award in recognition of his contributions as a global football icon. During his career, Pele has scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games, including friendlies. This achievement helped the Brazilian legend enter the Guinness Book of Records for the most goals. Although this is a controversial record, no one can deny his talent and influence on world football. The prestigious French magazine re-evaluated the players who were eligible to win the Ballon d'Or before 1995. In this issue, Pele was honored for 7 years, and France Football even printed the cover of the magazine with the title. : "Pele's 7 Golden Balls".

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After a long time fighting illness, "King of Football" Pele took his last breath at the age of 82 at dawn on December 30 at Albert Einstein Hospital (Sao Paulo, Brazil). His passing leaves endless grief with ball lovers around the world. Brazil striker Neymar shared: Before Pele, football was just a sport. Pele changed everything. He turned football into art, into entertainment. He is gone but his magic remains. Pele is forever.

The home page of the World Football Federation has changed to black and white in memory of Pele. FIFA President Gianni Infantino wrote a farewell letter to the Brazilian legend, describing his life as more than just football and the legacy he left will endure with time.

Gianni Infantino wrote: “For all those who love football, this is the day we never want to come. The day we lost Pelé. “O Rei” is unique in many ways. He is the only player to win the FIFA World Cup three times and his skills and imagination are unmatched. Pele's life is not just about football. He changed perception for the better in Brazil, South America and the world. His legacy probably cannot be summed up in words. Today, the whole world mourns Pele's passing, but he was immortalized long ago and Pele will be with us forever."


Pele and Maradona are two of the great figures of football history. In 2020, the Brazilian legend had an emotional statement after Maradona's departure: "One day, Maradona and I will play football together in heaven" and now, football king Pele has agreed. his wish.