Edson Arante do Nascimento, more widely recognized by the world as “Pele”, was born of October 23, 1940, in a small village in Brazil called Tres Coracoes in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. His father, Joao Ramos does Nascimento, or Dondinho, as he was renowned in the soccer world, was alos a professional player. He was well known as one of the best-heading players in his time. He plays as centre forward for Fluminense until an injury sidelined him from playing professional division one soccer. His mother Celeste gave Pele and the rest of his family attention to their needs and a lot of love. Pele and family moved to Bauru, in the interior of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, where he learned to nuances of the art of ‘futebol’(football).
Pele’s career began as a shoe shiner. For Pele it did not much time to change the profession and soon he started playing football. While playing for an outcoached team called Ameriquinha, he was discovered by a former Brazilian World Cup player named Wald mar de Brito. De Brito recognized Pele’s skills. When Pele was fifteen, in 1956, de Brito took him to the city of Sao Paulo to try out for the professional club called Santos Futebol Clube (SFC). That day, de Brito told the team directors that: “This boy will be the greatest soccer player in the world.” How good his prediction was.
Pele’s first showed his brilliance on September 7, 1956, when he played in place of the center forward Del Vecchio. He came into the game to score the six of the seven goals in the 7-1 Santos victory. Then onwards the way to the top was fast. Pele took part in four World Cups: Sweden 1958, Chile 1962, England 1966, and Mexico 1970.
The first game Pele played in this world cup was Brazil’s third, versus the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In that game against the USSR, Pele did not score, but Brazil won 2-0 with two goals by Vava. In the next game, Pele scored the only goal. In the semifinals against France, which Brazil won 5-2, Pele had a hat trick, and Vava and Didi each scored one goal. In the final against Sweden, Pele scored goals, and won the match by 5-2.
In 1962 in Chile World Cup, in the first game Pele scored one goal versus Mexico, and Brazil won the game. Unfortunately, this cup, even though it was to be Pele’s cup, ended early for the great star. After ten minutes into the game against Czechoslovakia, he pulled a muscle and was out of the tournament. Everything seemed to have gone wrong for Brazil in the 1966 world cup held in England. Brazil beat Bulgaria by a score of 2-0 in the first game, with one goal by Pele and the other by Garrincha. Then the team lost against Hungary 3-1 and in the next game, Pele was sadistically forced out of the match because of injuries inflicted by the Portuguese twice before he was kept out of remaining part of the game. In the 1979 World Cup of Mexico, Brazil took the Jules Rimet home to stay. In the first game, they triumphed over Czechoslovakia 4-1, with two goals by Jairzinho, one by Pele, and one by Rivelino. After that England was beaten1-0, with a goal by Jairzinho. Another victory came versus Romania, which Brazil won 3-2 with two goals by Pele and ne Jairzinho. Brazil then beat Peru by a score of 4-2. In the semifinal against Uruguay, Brazil came over the top with a score of 3-1. The final game was against Italy, which Brazil won 4-1. Pele scored one goal in this match. In this cup Pele scored the 3 best “almost goals” in history, and gave the English goalkeeper Banks fame for the best save in the history of the world cup when Banks stopped one of Pele’s headers.
There were some interesting moments that are attached with the life and game of Pele. In 1993, Pele was inducted to the United States Soccer Hall of Fame. After a trip to Lima, Peru, to play a game, an inscription was placed on the stadium wall: “Here played Pele”. Once he even stopped a war in Nigeria: A 48-hour armistice was signed with Biafra so that both sides could go watch Pele play a round of exhibition matches. When he left the national team on July 18, 1971, 200,000 people grieved in the monumental Maracana, and he gave his historic number 10 jersey to a ten-year-old boy.
Pele is the only person to have won three world cups as a player (1958, 1962 and 1970). Such was the brilliance of this man that he was prayed as a God of football. Nowadays he had taken the official responsibility of the sports affairs in Brazil.