Pelé: Facts About Football’s Greatest - Eastern Mirror
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Pelé: Facts about Football’s greatest

By Inakavi Kasho Updated: Dec 30, 2022 2:34 pm
Pele: The King may have died, but his legend will live forever

Dimapur, Dec. 30 (EMN): Pelé, regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time and labelled “the greatest” by FIFA, passed away at the age of 82 in a private hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after spending nearly a month, battling complications related to advanced cancer.

Pelé’s death was also front-page news in Argentina, where the press momentarily put aside its argument that Diego Maradona, and not the Brazilian, was the greatest player in history, reports Xinhua.

Called by various names such as ‘Gasolina’, ‘The Black Pearl’ and ‘O Rei’ (The King), he was mononymously and most well known as Pelé. He was born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940, in a small provincial town in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Born in poverty to Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born Joao Ramos do Nascimento) and Celeste Arantes, Pelé made his debut for Santos, the only club he represented in an official league, at the age of 16 in 1956. He played for Santos from 1956 till 1974, scoring 648 goals in 659 appearances.

Tributes pour in: ‘Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele’

Pelé was labelled “the greatest” by FIFA, football’s world governing body, named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999 and included in TIME Magazine’s list of 100 most important people of the 20th century. Pelé was in 2000 voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award.

The right-footed Pele is the only footballer so far to have lifted the FIFA World Cup thrice — 1958, 1962 and 1970 — while another 20 have won twice.

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In his nearly-two-decade-long career, Pelé scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which included friendlies and recognised as a Guinness World Record.

He is also the youngest-ever scorer for Brazil and at 17, was the youngest to play in a World Cup final. He was also declared a Natural Treasure by Brazil’s federal government in the 1960s to prevent him from being taken to Europe to ply his trade there and given an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997.

King Pele

Pele’s influence also resulted in temporarily halting Nigeria’s civil conflict as the warring parties signed a two-day ceasefire in 1969 to accommodate a friendly match featuring the famous No. 10.

He was also the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1994. In 1995, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso appointed Pele to the position of Extraordinary Minister for Sport, a position he utilised to propose legislation for reducing corruption in Brazilian football, which is now known as the Pele Law. (With inputs from IANS)

By Inakavi Kasho Updated: Dec 30, 2022 2:34:19 pm
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