A person becomes mononymous when they have attained the level of notoriety or recognition that people only know them by that name. Pele, a moniker made up of only one word, is the common name for Edson Arantes do Nascimento.
Great football player Pele was. Aside from his enormous contributions to the growth of sports, his ascent to fame is also incredibly inspirational.
A young child from the impoverished city of Bauru in the Brazilian state of So Paulo took on the sport of football, reinvented each play with his creative displays, and established himself as a household name.
Few people ever have the chance to truly define greatness in their lifetime. Like Pele, only a select few people are able to leave behind their modest family homes and establish themselves as global brands.
The history of Pele is remarkably similar to those of a select few individuals who were fortunate and privileged enough to follow the plain beats of life.
Pele, a football superstar and one of the greatest Brazilian players to ever walk the face of the globe, was tragically defeated by death.
At the age of 82, he lost the struggle for life and set out on a new trip to forever. He was the most popular football player, and some sports analysts claim he is still the best of all time.
Here are 11 things about Pele that you most likely don’t know:
1) Pele made his professional debut for Santos as a 15-year-old in 1956 after being born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in October 1940.
2) With Brazil, Pele won the World Cup in 1958, 1962, and 1970. He was the epitome of his nation’s heyday of football thanks to his opulent variety of abilities.
3) In 1977, Pele announced his retirement after finally scoring more than 1,000 goals. Only Neymar’s 77 goals for Brazil during the most recent World Cup might match Pele’s total.
4) Pele’s influence on his sport extended far beyond the playing field since he also became a financial success, licensing his name to a variety of goods like watches, credit cards, and clothing.
5) In 1957, Pele was called up to the national squad and scored in his first game, a victory over Argentina. He was chosen for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.
6) Pele, who was still just 17, had won the World Cup at the youngest age ever. However, the following two tournaments turned out to be disappointing. Pele was expected to dominate the 1962 World Cup in Chile when he was twenty-one years old and stronger than ever.
7) Pele retired from international duty in 1971, saying an emotional farewell in front of 180,000 spectators at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. He would go on to play club football for his beloved Santos and later the New York Cosmos.
8) In 1977, he inspired New York to the national title in his final season with the club which featured fellow greats Franz Beckenbauer, Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and former Brazil captain Carlos Alberto.
9) He appeared in the 1981 film, Escape to Victory, about Allied Prisoners of War during World War II along with the likes of Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and Moore.
10) Between 1995 and 1998, he was even Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister for Sport, while he also regularly appeared in public as an ambassador for numerous commercial brands.
11) He married for the third time in 2016, tying the knot with Marcia Aoki.