Pele, the legendary football star dies | Sunday Observer

Pele, the legendary football star dies

8 January, 2023
Pelé being held aloft after winning the 1970 World Cup Final in Mexico City. He is the only player to win three World Cups.
Pelé being held aloft after winning the 1970 World Cup Final in Mexico City. He is the only player to win three World Cups.

Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazi. His parents were Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born João Ramos do Nascimento) and Celeste Arantes. He was the elder of two siblings and was named after the American inventor Thomas Edison.

Pelé grew up in poverty in Bauru in the state of São Paulo. He earned extra money by working in tea shops as a servant. Taught to play football by his father, he could not afford a proper football and usually played with either a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with string or a grapefruit.

Pelé before facing Boca Juniors

He played for several amateur teams in his youth, including Sete de Setembro, Canto do Rio, São Paulinho, and Amériquinha.


According to Pelé, futsal (indoor football) presented difficult challenges. He said it was much quicker than football on the grass, and that players were required to think faster because everyone is close to each other on the pitch. Pelé credits futsal for helping him think better on the spot. In addition, futsal allowed him to play with adults when he was about 14 years.

In one of the tournaments he participated in, he was initially considered too young to play, but eventually went on to end up top scorer with 14 or 15 goals. “That gave me a lot of confidence”, Pelé said.

Professional contract

In 1956, de Brito took Pelé to Santos, an industrial and port city near São Paulo, to try out for professional club Santos FC, telling the directors at Santos that the 15-year-old would be “the greatest football player in the world.” Pelé impressed Santos coach Lula during his trial at the Estádio Vila Belmiro and he signed a professional contract with the club in June 1956.

Pelé at the White House on September 10, 1986, with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Brazilian President José Sarney

Pelé was greatly promoted in the local media as a future superstar. He made his senior team debut on September 7,1956 at the age of 15 against Corinthians de Santo André and had an impressive performance in a 7–1 victory, scoring the first goal in his prolific career during the match.

Brazilian national team

When the 1957 season started, Pelé was given a place in the first team and, at the age of 16, became the top scorer in the league. Ten months after signing professionally, the teenager was called up to the Brazilian national team. After the 1958 and the 1962 World Cups, wealthy European clubs, such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United, tried to sign him in vain.

Official national treasure

In 1961, the Government of Brazil under President Jânio Quadros declared Pelé an “official national treasure” to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.

On November 19, 1969, Pelé scored his 1,000th goal in all competitions, in what was a highly anticipated moment in Brazil.

In March 1961, Pelé scored the gol de placa (goal worthy of a plaque), against Fluminense at the Maracanã. Pelé received the ball on the edge of his own penalty area, and ran the length of the field, eluding opposition players with feints, before striking the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Closing of career

On October 1, 1977, Pelé closed his career in an exhibition match between the Cosmos and Santos. Pelé played the first half with the Cosmos, the second with the Santos. The game ended with the Cosmos winning 2–1, with Pelé scoring with a 30-yard free-kick for the Cosmos in what was the final goal of his career. During the second half, it started to rain, prompting a Brazilian newspaper to come out with the headline the following day: “Even The Sky Was Crying.”

Source: Internet