Pele: The King Of Fútbol

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Pele: The King of Fútbol "I was born for soccer, just as Beethoven was born for music," (Pelé. Hall of Fame.) was how Edson Arantes do Nascimento described his passion for soccer. He had many nicknames – “The Black Pearl”, “The King of Fútbol”, or just simply “The King.” A newspaper was once asked, “How do you spell his name?” The paper answered the question this way, “G-O-D.” We know him as Pelé (Buckley 7). Pelé became a professional player at the age of 15 when he joined the Brazilian National Team. When he was only 17, he helped Brazil win its first World Cup in 1958, and led Brazil to two more World Cup wins in 1962 and 1970. Pelé is still hailed as a national hero in Brazil today even though he retired from playing 37 years ago (Pelé. Biography). He has become a legend in his own time. Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940 in a small village in Brazil, the largest country in South America. He was named after Thomas Edison, the American who invented the electric light. The “i” in Edison was left off his birth certificate so his name became Edson. His family was very poor and Edson starting working when he was seven years old shining shoes and selling food on the streets to help his family (Brown, 10). He learned the game of soccer from his father, Dondinho, a professional player who passed on his love and his passion for of the beautiful game of fútbol. When Edson was 10 years old he came home one day and found his father crying because Brazil had lost the World Cup. “Don’t worry papa, I will win the World Cup for you someday,” Edson promised (Brown, 13). Edson played soccer with his neighborhood friends. They were so poor that they didn’t have money to buy a ball so they used either a gr... ... middle of paper ... ...to humanitarian and environmental causes” (Pele. Biography). Pele travels the world today to deliver his messages with the same attitude and passion that made him a great player. With his famous smile he tells people, “We must work together to take care of each other and make this world a better place for our children and the poor ,” because he remembers what it was like to be poor as a child. (Buckley 102). Pelé continues to be hailed as a national hero in Brazil even though he retired 37 years ago (Pelé. Biography). One of Pelé’s Brazilian soccer coaches said this about him, “The secret of Pele’s success is that he is the same poor boy who played for the National Team when he was sixteen. He has the gift of human dignity, of total dedication to his sport and to people around the world. It is Pele’s spirit that will always be remembered” (Harris, back cover).

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