Pele Biography >

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento but universally known as ‘Pele’ on October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Brazil, and the firstborn to parents João Ramos & Dona Celeste, who named Pele proudly after Thomas Edison probably in the hope of their little boy also growing up to become a famous scientist. Pelé relocated together with his family to the smaller city suburb of Bauru as a youngster.  In Brazil, he is hailed as a national hero & treasure for his many achievements in football and for his vociferous support of policies that boost the social conditions of the impoverished. Throughout his career and during his retirement, he accepted several individual and team awards for his performance in the game, his record-breaking achievements, and legacy in the sport of football…


“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint.”

~ Pele


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How did he get the name Pele?


Originally nicknamed “Dico” by his family [which means ‘Son of a warrior’ [which I’m sure is way more laughable]. The origin of the nickname “Pelé” seems a little unclear, although he recalls absolutely loathing it when his friends insisted on calling him it anyway. The soon to be world famous nickname “Pelé” was bestowed to him during his school days, when it is said he was called it because of the funny way in which he pronounced  the name of his favourite player, local Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bilé, which he couldn’t say correctly, but the more he protested the more it stuck to him, until eventually P.E.L.E. was born.

João Ramos, who is more affectionately known as “Dondinho,” hustled to make ends meet as a football player, and therefore he and his family evidently grew up in abject poverty. However, undeterred by his circumstances, he somehow managed to fashion an embryonic talent for football by kicking about a rolled-up sock stuffed with rags and on occasion grapefruits or mangoes around the urban streets of Bauru.

Wherever you go, there are three icons that everyone knows: Jesus Christ, Pele and Coca-Cola…

~ Pele

As a young and very precocious prodigy, Pelé joined a youth team coached by Waldemar de Brito, a former forward striker for the Brazilian national football team. De Brito managed to convince his family of the young phenom’s incredible ability and urged them to allow Pele to leave his home and try out for Santos Futebol Clube at the tender age of 15.




Who Is The Best Footballer In The World?


Such is Pele’s legendary status as a sporting figure & iconic soccer player who throughout his heyday totally bossed the game and set the world alight to the point of being heralded as Pele the greatest football player ‘King of Football’ shinning in all his royal glory. To this day, he is by any measure you care to use revered by football/soccer players, experts, critics, and fans (current and retired) as the absolute best player of all time bar none. With a deftly exquisite style, astonishing play, and thrilling performances, Pele goals amounted to scoring a grand total of 1281 goals in 1363 games, which is not that far off a goal a game. His deeply rooted affection for the game and natural flair for scoring astounding goals literally made him a superstar around the globe. He was worshipped and adored for his utterly remarkable heading ability, thunderbolt shooting, and unending goal scoring.


The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning…

~ Pele

Ask any football fan from anywhere to name the best ever footballer, and bet your bottom dollar the name they will come up with will be Pelé, even if they are way too young to have ever seen him play. It speaks volumes to the length, breadth, and strength of the legend that has engulfed the phenomenally famous Brazilian forward, elevating him to head the list of top 10 football players of all time. Is his stature undeserved some may ask? The answer has to be not really! Three World Cups conquered, and a tally of more than twelve hundred goals throughout his career clearly justifies his supremacy without a shadow of a doubt.

He was an emerging force in the global game; had speed, he had strength, he was also a good header and he could dribble like a baby, but most of all, he possessed an accurate rocket of a shot with both feet. The tsunami of goals he scored for Santos FC, where he teamed up with fellow internationals like Zico and Carlos Alberto, helped the club win a cache of trophies between 1961 – 1965.

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper summed it up: “How do you spell Pele? G-O-D.”



Pele The Legend


Career Timeline >

  • Convinced of the phenomenal talent that he possessed, football star de Brito took Pele to Santos where he was included in the professional club, Santos FC. Pele signed a contract in June 1956 and played his first professional game in September. In the game, he scored his first professional goal against Corinthians Santo Andre.
  • Beginning in 1957, he became a regular in the team and no sooner, the top scorer of the league. It was his remarkable performance that earned him a place in the national team of Brazil.
  • He played his first international game in July 1957 against Argentina. Though Brazil lost the match by 2-1, he scored his first international goal, thus becoming the youngest player ever to score in international football.
  • The year 1958 was a year of accomplishments. Not only did he help Santos register a win at the Campeonato Paulista—a top-flight professional football league in Brazil—with 58 goals, a feat unmatched till date, he was also part of the Brazilian team which won the World Cup.
  • Pele made significant contributions in the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals of the 1958 World Cup and scored a total of six goals in four matches. He broke a number of records in the 1958 World Cup.
  • His dream run of success was shortly halted as Santos were unable to retain their Paulista title in 1959, but continued with full force in 1960 as he displayed extraordinary performance on the field thereby helping Santos regain the title. The club won the Taça Brasil with him as the top scorer. It was these wins that helped Santos play Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club football tournament.
  • The year 1962 was the best club year of his career as he not only guided Santos in the Copa Libertadores competition to record a thrilling victory, but helped the club register wins at the Campeonato Brasileiro, Taça Brasil, and 1962 Intercontinental Cup.
  • As for the 1962 World Cup, despite much hype and hoopla, the injury took the better off him as he remained out for most of the tournament.
  • The Year 1963 replicated the success of the previous year as Santos became the successful defending champions of the Copa Libertadores. Though the club was unable to regain the Paulista trophy, it recorded a victory at the Rio-São Paulo tournament, Intercontinental Cup, and the Taça Brasil.
  • Post the wins recorded in 1964 and 1965, the club’s steep climb upwards rebounded and so did his contribution in the club. Though the club won Paulista trophy for three consecutive years, Pele was not a major contributor for the fare.
  • The 1966 World Cup brought much pain for Pele as he was injured due to the persistent fouling by the Bulgarians. The result was Brazil’s exit from the World Cup after the first round.
  • He scored his 1000th goal against Vasco da Gama from a penalty kick at the Maracana Stadium in 1969.
  • The 1970 World Cup was the last World Cup in which Pele participated. He played in all the qualifying matches and contributed in 14 of the 19 goals that Brazil struck in the tournament. Brazil won the World Cup and Pele was named ‘Player of the Tournament’ for his impressive performance and extensive contribution.
  • Pele’s last international match was against Yugoslavia on July 18, 1971, in Rio de Janeiro. As for his club years, 1974 season was his 19th and last season that he played for Santos before retiring.

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Pele The Best Footballer


One of the most remarkable qualities of Pelé football icon, was, even though he possessed a gifted sense of individual mastery, was the ultimate way in which he fused so artistically with other players. Pele acknowledged publicly that he had indeed turned down countless advances from, Manchester United, AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid all to stay with his beloved Santos at club level.

He withdrew from what he lovingly called o Jogo bonito (the beautiful game) in 1974, however, returned the following year to appear for the New York Cosmos in order “to bring the world’s game to the people of America” and he would finally hang up his boots for the very last time in 1977.


I am constantly being asked about individuals. The only way to win is as a team. Football is not about one or two or three-star players.

~ Pele





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The Legend Continues…

Retirement most certainly did not decrease Pelé’s public profile in the slightest, he continues to be a beloved campaigner and active in the professional world.

Pelé in 1978, was presented with the International Peace Award for his hard work on behalf of UNICEF. He also held the role as Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister for Sport and became a United Nations ambassador for both ecology & environment.

Nothing more needs to be said Pelé is Pelé, his exceptional talents made him universally acknowledged early on as one of the best football players in the world. He was voted “Athlete of the Century” in 1999 by the (IOCC) International Olympic Committee together with Argentinian Diego Maradona. And “World Player of the Century” by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). To the vast majority, his achievements upon the football field can never be matched, and furthermore, literally, all the great athletes within the sport of football are measured to the very high standard set by the prolific Brazilian who once made the world stop and watch his transcendent brand of footballing excellence… In fact, he’s already busy promoting and working the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup extravaganza.