SuccessStories // “Pelé”

“Pelé”

Brazilian soccer legend · (1940 - )

Brazilian soccer legend · (1940 - )

  • || Achievement
  • One of the most famous and revered soccer players of all time, Pelé received the 1978 International Peace Award, and was named athlete of the century in 1980. He was also named second for the "Sportsman of the Century" award in 2000. Pelé played in four World Cups with Brazil's National Team.

  • || Achievements made possible by
  • Inherited talent: his father was a soccer player until his career was ended by a fractured leg.
    Early start: learning to play soccer at a very early age influenced by his father, Dondinho. Pelé was five years old when he started playing soccer and joined the Santos team at the age of sixteen.
    Luck in being discovered: Pelé was from a very poor family, he shined shoes for pennies. Waldemar de Brito, one of the country's premier players, discovered Pelé at the age of eleven, taking him to Sao Paula to be introduced to the directors of the professional team in Santos. He remarked to them, "This boy will be the greatest soccer player in the world."
  • || Notable
  • Pelé had a playing style of his own marked by great tactical ability and superb control of the ball. Pelé was the former ambassador of sports in Brazil and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993. He also worked extensively for children's causes through UNICEF. J.B. Pinheiro, Brazil's ambassador to the U.N., speaking on Pelé's retirement, said "Pelé had spent 22 years playing soccer, and in that time he has done more for goodwill and friendship than all of the ambassadors ever appointed."
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