Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Edson Arantes do Nascimento (born October 23, 1940 in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil), nicknamed Pelé, is a Brazilian football player, considered by many to be the best player of all time.

He started his football career in Santos in 1956, at the age of 15, and played in his first international match only ten months later. In 1958, Pelé became the youngest ever World Cup winner in Sweden at 17. He played in two more Brazilian World Cup-winning teams, in 1962 and 1970. He missed most of the 1962 and 1966 World Cups due to injuries sustained in the early stages of the tournament.

In 1967, the two factions involved in a civil war in Nigeria agreed for a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pelé play an exhibition in Lagos.

After his retirement in 1974, he joined the New York Cosmos and played his last game in 1977 in front of a capacity crowd at Giants Stadium. He also played a friendly match with the Lebanese club Nejmeh in 1974. (see Lebanon football)

Pelé is in third place in the list of all-time top scorers in World Cup play, with 12 goals, and he is the only player who has been on a team that won three World Cups. He ended his career with a total of 1281 goals out of 1363 games, becoming one of the most prolific goal scorers ever. In his 92 appearances for the Brazilian team, he scored 77 goals.

He was voted athlete of the century by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1999. He is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Nowadays, Pelé is almost certainly the most famous man in football, with his nickname being recognized even by those unfamiliar with the sport.

See Also