Pele is a former Brazilian soccer player. He’s not only considered by many people as the greatest soccer player ever but he’s one of the most known athletes modern history of sports. He was actually named “Athlete of the Century” in 1999 by the International Olympic Committee.
Edson Arrantes de Nascimento is his full name. He was born in Tres Coracoes in Brazil, in a family that loved soccer. He dad was professional soccer player for Fluminese but he ended up quitting due to a knee injury. His dad taught him how to play the game and he wanted to be just like his dad.
Pele grew up in poverty and things got a lot worse for his family when his dad had to quit soccer. Pele couldn’t afford to buy soccer equipment. He couldn’t even buy a soccer ball. So he shined shoes for an extra coin so him and his friends can stitch up a sock stuffed with newspaper and use it as a ball. He formed a team with his a bunch of kids in his neighborhood and they would go tournaments without shoes because none of them could afford to waste walking shoes. In one of these tournaments, Pele ended up as top goal scorer and he was immediately noticed by a former Brazilian international player named Brito, who called him up to the youth squad of Baquinho. During his year at the club’s youth team, he led to a team championship. He ended up scoring 148 goals in 33 matches. That’s almost 5 goals a game.
At the age of 15 and a half, he joined the Santos FC junior team. He played for one season before joining the senior team. He became the youngest player to start in Brazilian first division at age 16 and even more incredibly, he became the league’s top scorer at the end of the season. Just ten months after signing professionally, the teenager was called up to the Brazil national team to represent the country in the 1958 World Cup squad, at age 17. He was the youngest player in the competition. After the 1962 World Cup, a lot of European clubs offered massive fees to sign Pele, but the...