Sports Nicknames - Pele

When asking people who know nothing about football to name a player, there is normally one name that they can recognize: Pele. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who goes by the aforementioned name, is widely considered one of the best players of all time.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento better known as Pele.  Illustration.  Profile drawing.  Avatar art.  Nickname origin.

The name Pele actually came about in his school days, when he would mispronounce the name of Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bile. The name was intended to make fun of him for it, yet the more he protested against it, the more the nickname stuck.

At the time of his professional debut in 1956, Pele was 15. In 1957, he became the top scoring player in the Brazilian top league with Santos FC. He then was called up to the Brazilian national team at age 16 for the 1958 World Cup. In that World Cup, he became the youngest player to ever score a hat-trick, finishing as a world champion and with 6 goals in 4 matches. He would go on to win 2 more World Cups.

The rest of his career would follow a similar path of success and an ocean of goals. Despite being tempted by top European clubs like Inter Milan, Manchester United and Real Madrid, Pele was declared an "official national treasure" by President Janio Quadros in order to keep him in Brazil. Pele would win a host of different trophies in Brazil for Santos before eventually moving to the New York Cosmos in 1974.

Pele is one of the most famous footballers of all time. With a goal-scoring record of 1279 goals in 1363 games, which included friendlies, he is a Guinness World Record holder. Certainly he's one of the best to ever play The Beautiful Game.


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