Biography of Pele


Many U.S. Citizens are unfamiliar with Pele, (Edson Arantes do Nascimento), also known as ‘Goddess Pele’ . This may seem surprising; since during December 1999, The World’s National Olympics Commitees (NOC) voted Pele (who is widely considered to be the most accomplished male soccer player to date) as Number 1 among their top five athletes of the Century. Pele was the only athlete among the top five named who didn’t compete in the Olympics. Ranking behind Pele among the list of top five athletes of the century were: Athlete, Boxing Superstar – Muhammad Ali, Olympic light-heavyweight boxing champ 1960 Athlete, Runner Extraordinaire – Carl Lewis, Winner of 9 gold medals in four Olympic Game Competitions between 1984 and 1996. Athlete, Basketball Superstar – Michael Jordan, Basketball Superstar who was a part of the Dream Team gold medalists during 1992. Athlete, Swimmer Superstar – Mark Spitz, Winner of seven Olympic Gold Titles at the 1972 Olympic Games.

Currently, in the United States, soccer is an extremely popular participation sport, especially among young people; however, it is not a popular sport to watch on television. Perhaps, because this sport does not typically have high scoring and watching it requires a longer attention span than watching many other sports does. Why would the World’s National Olympic Committees, recognize his achievements above so many other incredibly talented athletes, you may wonder. Unlike many other team sports, such as baseball or football the team sport of soccer requires that its team members be quite versatile. In football, a team is usually composed of a group of players who are specialized. Each member is usually extremely talented at one or two, sometimes more of the positons on the team, such as a linebacker or a quarterback. Each team member, however, is not usually able to play every position on the field at a professionally competitive level. Usually baseball teams have some team members who are extremely good pitchers or catchers and tend to play those positions most of the time. Those players are usually not as valuable to their team when they play many of the other positions on the field.

It is believed that one of the reasons Pele was considered to be so astonishingly talented and such an incredible athlete was because everything he did on the soccer field was remarkable. He could play any position. During his career that lasted from 1956 to 1977, he played 1,363 matches and scored 1,282 goals. He scored his 1,000th goal during 1969. His best season was during the year of 1958, when he scored 139 times.

Pele won the following awards: 1958: World cup Brazil 1958: Sao Paolo Championship (Santos) 1960: Sao Paolo Championship (Santos) 1961: Sao Paolo Championship (Santos) 1962: World Cup (Brazil) 1962: World Club Cup (Santos) 1962: South American Club Cup (Santos) 1962: Sao Paulo Championship (Santos) 1963: World Club Cup (Santos) 1963: South American Club Cup (Santos) 1963: Brazilian Cup (Santos) 1964: Brazilian Cup (Santos) 1964: Sao Paola Championship (Santos) 1965: Sao Paolo Championship (Santos) 1967: Sao Paolo Championship (Santos) 1968: Brazilian Cup (Santos) 1969: Sao Paolo Championship (Santos) 1970: World Cup (Brazil) Pele ranks 3rd among the list of all-time top goal scorers in International matches. 1. Ali Daei, Iran, 104 goals, 136 games, (1993-2005) 2. Ferenc Puskas, Hungary/Spain, 84 goals, 89 games, (1945 – 1956) 3. Pele, Brazil, 77 goals, 92 games, (1957-1971)

Pele was the youngest player ever to participate in a world cup final. He was 17 years and 239 days old on June 19, 1958 during that competition. (Born: October 23, 1940, Birthplace: Tres Coracos, Brazil) * He is the youngest player ever to score in a world cup final. * He has been featured on the cover of Life Magazine. * He has published several bestselling auto-biographies, starred in documentary and semi-documentary films and has composed various musical pieces. He acted in the film ‘Escape to Victory’. The documentary about his life is called ‘Pele Eterno’. Soccer is an extremely popular sport worldwide, especially in Spanish speaking Countries.

If you are on a quest to learn as much as you can about playing soccer, coaching soccer, coaching soccer youth or any other facets regarding the sport of soccer; studying Goddess Pele and other soccer players from countries other than the U.S. could prove to be very beneficial for you.

Written by: Dawn Perucca,


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