Certain amazing facts to know about the football legend, Pele.
Football Legend– Edson Arantes do Nascimento or Pelé is a top sportsperson from Brazil. First of all, he is a legendary footballer of all times. Moreover, he broke records after scoring 1281 goals in 1363 games. No doubt, he is today the most successful footballer in the world. However, apart from his success story, there were several facts which needs to be known.
Certain facts to understand about his life.
Pele was born on 23rd October 1940. He was from a humble background in Brazil.
‘The Shoeless Ones’ was his first football team.
Pele was extremely poor. Therefore as a young boy, he helped his family’s livelihood by working as a shoe cleaner at the local train station. His love for football started during those days as a cleaner. As a result, he gathered his friends from his neighbourhood. They then formed a football team and named as ‘the shoeless ones’. Since they could not afford to buy a football, therefore they played with grapefruits and socks stuffed with paper.
When his innocent nickname in school became popular in the world today.
Although his real name was different but in school, he had a difficult time because of a mistake. Because he was not able to pronounce the name of a local goalkeeper’ name Bile. He would pronounce as Pile. Therefore, his classmates teased him with the nickname, Pele. Little did he know that one day, this nickname will make his famous.
Pele has donated funds for several charitable causes.
Because of his popularity, as a global icon, he was accorded a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In this regard, he has worked to save the environment. He has also helped in fighting against corruption in Brazil. Also due to the increased racism, he became a FIFA Ambassador. He has also raised funds for improving football among the poor youths in Brazil.
Pele had an inclination towards acting, apart from his sports.
Pele acted in a drama named, Escape to Victory. This is a WWII drama. Here, certain prisoners play against their Nazi captors in a football match. He starred as the team’s star attacker, Corporal Luis Fernandez, who hailed from Trinidad and Tobago.
Pelé also became the Minister of Sport in Brazil in 1995 until 1998.
This was probably the highest honor, a country could ever give to such a legend. He became a politician for sports for 3 years. Therefore he was able to promote sports in Brazil in a good way. He encouraged the young kids to love sports and ensuring a healthy living.
He was awarded an honorary British Knighthood in 1997 for his exemplary contributions.
Pelé received the honour in his capacity as a Brazilian government minister, and for being the outstanding player of three World Cup-winning Brazil teams and scoring over one thousand goals in his professional career. Thereby, he was made an honorary knight in the build-up to the World Cup in 1998. He is allowed to use the letters ‘KBE’ after his name.
His inspiration for the youth moves beyond just football.
When asked about being a role-model, Pelé says, “Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pelé. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be a soccer player, but how to be a man.” Profound, isn’t it?
Definitely, the man he is today is much more beyond the football legend we have always known of. And only the unseen tidbits of his life’s journey can unravel his real story. The best way to know that is by watching his biographical drama, Pelé: Birth Of A Legend. Starring Kevin de Paula, the story focuses on Pelé’s journey from a small slum of Brazil to become an international football icon.