Pele is a great sports figure and an iconic soccer player who conquered the game throughout his playing years, earning the title of ‘King of Football.’ He is largely recognized as the best player of all time by football fans, commentators, experts, and current and retired players. He scored 1281 goals in 1363 games with his immaculate style, thrilling play, and outstanding performance. His strong love for the game and aptitude for scoring stunning goals cemented his status as a global superstar. He was noted for his outstanding heading abilities, strong shot, and goal-scoring prowess. He was a significant player for the Santos club and a member of the Brazilian national team. He played an important role in every game he played. Since his first professional game, he has given everything he has to every match and has played like an unblemished pro. Over the course of his career, which lasted little over two decades, he put up some incredible performances and helped to skyrocket the game’s popularity. Pele is recognized as the perfect humanitarian, in addition to his outstanding artistry on the field, since he has raised his voice on numerous occasions to improve the living standards and social situations of the poor. During his active years, he set countless records, some of which have remained unbeaten and unchanged to this day. Continue reading to learn more about this well-known footballer.
Childhood and Adolescence
Pele was born to Dondinho and Dona Celeste Arantes as Edson Arantes do Nascimento. He was the couple’s firstborn child. He has a younger brother or sister. His father used to play soccer.
His pals began to refer to him as Pele after his favorite football player, Vasco da Gama ‘Bile,’ whom he mispronounced as ‘Pele.’
As a child, he took on numerous odd occupations to supplement his income because he was poor. His father taught him how to play soccer when he was young, and he played for a variety of amateur teams.
He obtained a position at the Bauru Athletic Club juniors, which was coached by Waldemar de Brito, thanks to his talent for the game and his unique flair. From 1954 through 1956, he guided the club to three consecutive victories. He also won a number of local indoor football tournaments and championships.
Career of Pele
De Brito, a football legend, convinced Pele of his incredible talent and brought him to Santos, where he was accepted into the professional team, Santos FC. Pele signed a professional deal in June 1956 and made his debut in September. He scored his first professional goal against Corinthians Santo Andre in the game.
Beginning in 1957, he became a regular member of the team and, not long after, the league’s leading scorer. His outstanding performance won him a spot in the Brazilian national team.
In July 1957, he made his international debut against Argentina. Despite the fact that Brazil lost the match 2-1, he scored his first international goal, making him the youngest player in international football history.
The year 1958 was one of achievement. He not only helped Santos win the Campeonato Paulista—premier Brazil’s professional football league—with 58 goals, a record that has yet to be matched, but he was also a member of the Brazilian team that won the World Cup.
Pele scored six goals in four matches during the 1958 World Cup, contributing significantly in the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals. During the 1958 World Cup, he set a lot of records.
His dream run of success came to an end in 1959 when Santos were unable to retain their Paulista title, but he returned in full force in 1960, putting in an outstanding performance on the field and assisting Santos in regaining the title. With him as the top scorer, the club won the Taça Brasil. Santos qualified for the Copa Libertadores, South America’s best club football event, thanks to their victories.
His best club year was 1962, when he not only led Santos to a dramatic Copa Libertadores victory, but also helped the club win the Campeonato Brasiliero, Taça Brasil, and 1962 Intercontinental Cup.
Despite all of the pomp and fanfare surrounding the 1962 World Cup, injury got the better of him, and he missed the most of the tournament.
Santos won the Copa Libertadores for the second year in a row in 1963, repeating their triumph from the previous year. Despite failing to reclaim the Paulista trophy, the club won the Rio-Sa Paulo competition, the Intercontinental Cup, and the Taça Brasil.
Following the victories in 1964 and 1965, the club’s steep ascent resumed, as did his commitment to the club. Despite the fact that the team won the Paulista trophy for three years in a row, Pele was not a key contribution to the success.
Pele suffered a serious injury at the 1966 World Cup as a result of the Bulgarians’ constant fouling. As a result, Brazil was knocked out of the World Cup after the first round.
On 1969, he scored his 1000th goal in a penalty kick against Vasco da Gama at the Maracana Stadium.
The 1970 World Cup was Pele’s final appearance in a World Cup. He appeared in all of Brazil’s qualification matches and assisted on 14 of the team’s 19 goals during the competition. Pele was crowned ‘Player of the Tournament’ for his outstanding performance and significant contribution as Brazil won the World Cup.
Pele’s final international match was against Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro on July 18, 1971. In terms of his club years, the 1974 season was his 19th and final season with Santos before retiring. He came out of semi-retirement in 1976, signing a contract with the New York Cosmos. In his final season with the club, he led the team to the NASL championship in 1977.
His final game was an exhibition match between Cosmos and Santos on October 1, 1977. He played for the Cosmos in the first half and Santos in the second. His most recent official goal came in the first half against Santos, when he scored a straight free kick. The match ended in a 2-1 victory for the Cosmos. In 1992, he was selected as a UN ambassador for ecology and the environment, following a highly successful soccer career. He was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1995.
Achievements & Awards
He won various distinguished awards and decorations, including Brazil’s Gold Medal, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and the BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for his amazing list of triumphs and extraordinary role in catapulting the sport’s prominence to newer heights.
In 1999, he was named Football Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). In addition, the International Olympic Committee and Reuters News Agency named him “Athlete of the Century.”
He was named Honorary President of the New York Cosmos in 2010. In 2012, the University of Edinburgh bestowed an honorary degree on him for his “major contribution to humanitarian and environmental concerns, as well as his sporting successes.”
Personal History and Legacy
Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi was his first wife, whom he married in 1966. Two daughters were born to the couple. In 1982, they divorced.
He was romantically involved with Xuxa from 1981 to 1986, whom he helped to become a model. When they started dating, Xuxa was only 17 years old.
He married Assria Lemos Seixas, a psychologist and gospel singer, in 1994. Joshua and Celeste, her twins, were born to her. The pair has broken up.
Estimated Net Worth
Pele Net Worth has a net worth of $100 million.
In his early years, this star player of the Brazil football team and the Santos club couldn’t afford a proper football and had to make do with a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a thread or a grapefruit.
When he scored against Wales in the 1958 World Cup, he became the youngest soccer player to score a World Cup goal. At the moment, he was 17 years and 239 days old.
This soccer hero also holds the distinction for being the youngest player in World Cup history to score a hat-trick. He is also the world’s youngest footballer to have appeared in a World Cup final.