It was reported that Pelé or Edson Arantes do Nascimento passed away at 82 after fighting cancer for nearly a year. He was one of the greatest football players in history, and he could have passed the current greatest of all time (GOAT), Messi.
Here are some top facts about Pelé:
His Father Was Footballer:
His father was footballer Joo Ramos do Nascimento (Dondinho), and his mother was Celeste Arantes. He had two younger brothers and sisters. His father was a centre forward for Atlético Mineiro, Fluminense, and a few more minor league teams. His father, Dondinho, was his mentor and trainer.
His Story Was From Rags To Riches:
When his family could not afford to purchase him a soccer ball, Pelé developed his dribbling talents using a sock stuffed with rags. The family relocated to Bauru, in the state of So Paulo, when he was still a child. He supplemented his income by working as a servant in tea shops, shining shoes, and selling roasted peanuts outside movie theatres.
He frequently played barefoot since he could not afford shoes, and his friends finally established a team named the Shoeless Ones. Later, barefoot sports performed on vacant lots became known as “pelada,” which is thought to have been named after Pelé.
He played Indoor Football in The Beginning:
Pelé began playing indoor football, also known as Futsal, in his mid-teens. The game is based on association football and is primarily played indoors on a hard court smaller than a football pitch. Pelé began playing indoor football just as it was becoming popular in Bauru. He was a member of the region’s first futsal competition and played for the Radium team. Pelé and his team won the inaugural title and several others.
Because the ball on the floor moves faster than football on the grass and the players are so close together, everyone has to think faster. Pelé attributes his success as a footballer to his involvement in Futsal.
The GOAT Of Hat Tricks
A hat trick occurs when players score three or more goals in a single game. During his career, Pelé achieved 129 hat tricks.
Pelé had many goals during his career and was always satisfied with more than one. He has 92 three-goal games, 31 four-goal games, and six five-goal games in his career, and he once scored eight goals in a single game. It is incredible for a player to score three goals in one game, and Pelé did it 129 times.
A World Record Holder:
Pelé holds two world records: the most career goals and the most World Cup winners medals. He is also the youngest player ever to score in a World Cup final. What is more, he is by far the youngest player to have won two World Cups. Pelé was the youngest player to appear in a World Cup final in 1958. He had been alive for 17 years and 249 days. In that game, he scored two goals. At the age of 21, he won his second World Cup.
He holds the Guinness World Record for the most goals scored by a single player. Pelé scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 games from September 7, 1956, to October 1, 1977.
From $10 A Month To Millions Later:
Pelé earned his first deal with Santos at 15 in 1956, earning only $10 per month. Pelé used his earnings to purchase his mother a gas stove, even though their town did not have piped gas into homes at the time.
Years later, in 1975, he received a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos, making him the world’s highest-paid team athlete. To prevent foreign football clubs from taking him out of the country, the Brazilian government recognised him as a National Treasure in 1961.
National Treasure Of Brazil:
After Pelé led Brazil to their first World Cup victory in 1958, European clubs like Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, and Manchester United began courting the future superstar. Pelé was proclaimed a national treasure by Brazilian President Jânio Quadros in 1961 to prevent him from being moved to foreign clubs.
The good news is that he was content to play for his home team, Santos, and had no ambition to play outside the country. He is a national hero and idol in his home country of Brazil. He is well-known for his contributions to soccer, inspiring hundreds, if not millions, of children to play the game.
Knighted By Queen Elizabeth II
In 1997, Pelé was awarded an honorary knighthood. He is not allowed to use the title “Sir” until he becomes a British citizen. He was not eligible for a knighthood because he was a Brazilian citizen. Had he become a British citizen, his honorary knighthood would have been elevated to substantive knighthood.