Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele was born on 23 October 1940 in Minas Gerais, Brazil. His father Dondinho was a regular player of Fluminense Football Club. Grown up in poverty in Sao Paolo, Pele once had to work as a servant in a tea store. Despite being unable to buy a good jersey or a good football, Pele was enough enthusiast to grab the ladder of success. From the streets of Sao Paolo he soon reached the local clubs. Eventually one day became one of the greatest sports personalities in history.
Pele ruled the football world during 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Brazil’s first World Cup trophy came home in 1958 through Pele. Four year’s later he and Brazil successfully hold the title. But Pele’s best World Cup winning performance was in 1970 Mexico World Cup. This was the tournament which made him ‘The Greatest Footballer of All Time’ to his fans and many football critics. Some magnificent shots, passes, goals and tactics taken by him there are still considered as masterpieces in football history. Defeating Mexico by 4-1 in the final not only made Brazil world’s best, but also introduced Brazil’s football spirit and quality as ‘Beautiful Football’.
Pele started his club football career at the age of only 16. Santos was his first franchise. He played for Santos till 1972-73. Before officially biding farewell to football in 1977, his last club was New York Cosmos. Joining there in 1975, he poured his best for three seasons. Even made Cosmos champion of US League in 1977.
While performing in US League, Pele created the milestone of scoring 1000 goals. The 1000th goal there received through a penalty emerged as a grand festival throughout Brazil. Pele’s striking rate in international matches was always one of the highest. He scored 77 goals from 92 international matches.
After retiring from football in 1977, Pele became involved in various social and charitable activities. He became brand ambassadors of various football and other sports organizations. In 1992, Pele was appointed as special ambassador for ‘Ecology and Environment’ of United Nations. He also served as goodwill ambassador of UNESCO.
Apart from his iconic football career and dedications in social welfare, Pele is renown for his generosity and humbleness. At the age of 75, he is still roaming tirelessly across the globe for humanitarian causes and off course, for football.
Honors For Pele ..
World Cup Winner : 1958, 1962, 1970
Golden Ball Winner : 1970 World Cup
Silver Ball Winner : 1958 World Cup
Athlete of the Century : 1999, by Reuters News Agency
Athlete of the Century : 1999, by International Olympic Committee
Footballer of the Century : 1999, by Reuters News Agency
One of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century : 1999, by TIME
Player of the Century : 2000, by FIFA
Order of Merit : 2004, by FIFA
FIFA Presidential Award : 2007, by FIFA