Player Profile – Pele

This is a name that many people – even those who do not have much interest in the sport – knows, for it is forever associated with football and the success.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento

Edson Arantes do Nascimento is better known the world over by the name, Pele. And he is simply the greatest footballer to have even played the game. This blog celebrates Pele and his achievements. He is one of the few players to have played in three World Cups and scored more than one thousand-two hundred goals in his long and glittering career.

The Young Pele

Pele was born in Tres Coracoes in Brazil and was the son of a professional player. As a boy he grew up in Bauru, Sao Paulo in relative poverty. He was even taken to cleaning shoes to provide extra money for the family. His football career started in the streets with his young pals, using a rag ball as a football. His talent was soon noticed and in 1954 he was chosen to play for the youth team of Bauru Athletic Club. The team were coached by the former Brazilian player, Waldemar de Brito, and the best thing was that Pele was getting paid for playing.

Young Pele Develops

It was not too long before scouts from the bigger clubs in Brazil started to notice the young Pele who was now playing as a striker. Pele took the advice of his coach and joined Santos CF, who played in the Paulista League, which is the local league to Sao Paulo. His first appearance in the first team was when he was just sixteen, and during his first season Pele scored thirty-five goals in only twenty-nine matches. Already his true skill and goal scoring prowess was coming to the fore. The following season he eclipsed his goal scoring with an impressive fifty-eight goals.

Pele the Professional

His start to his professional career was outstanding and soon he was elevated to the Brazilian national side. He was selected to be part of the Brazilian squad for the 1958 World Cup. The first two games he sat out because of a knee injury, but in the final group game he made his World Cup debut against the Soviet Union. In the matches that followed Pele showed just why he was selected, he scored in the quarter final, and then a hat-trick against France in the semi-finals, and then two more goals in the final against Sweden.

This feat made him the youngest (and still is) World Cup winner in history. The seventeen year-old Pele had announced himself to the world as a rising star. And throughout the remainder of his career he cemented himself as the best player the world has ever seen.

The Last Goodbye

The final match came for Pele in 1977, when on October the 1st Pele played for both teams when Santos played New York Cosmos. Seventy-five thousand supporters crammed into the stadium to witness the swan song of one of the greatest entertainers the world of football had ever seen.