Pelé - One of the Greatest Soccer Players of All Time
Athletic Genius, Soccer Legend, Master of Offense, Pelé. All are names for Edson Arantes do Nascimento, undoubtedly one of the greatest soccer players of all time. The purpose of this essay is to inform you about the things Pelé accomplished throughout his life and career, and also about what he did that effected the world so much.
Pelé was born on October 23rd, 1940, in the Brazilian town of Tres Coracoes, which means Three Hearts. Pelé was the first child to Dondinho and Celeste. Dondinho, his father, was a professional soccer player, and started Pelé in the sport.
Pelé started playing soccer with his friends in the street, using a sock filled with rags as a soccer ball. They’d use the sidewalks as sidelines, and buckets or barrels as goalposts. “I became pretty good at being able to dribble the sock around and even learned how to hit it with my head,” Pelé says. He would sometimes cut school with his friends just to play soccer in open fields. In fact, he was discovered by a soccer scout while playing with some fellow workers.
Pelé’s first job was a cobbler’s apprentice, which paid just over $2 a month. A cobbler is one who repairs shoes, a skill which Pelé continued to use throughout his soccer career. He would repair his and his teammates shoes because very few soccer teams had people to do it for them. About the time he took that job, he was given the nickname of Pelé. The word, which has no literal translation in Portuguese, was given to him by the boys he used to play soccer with. Pelé didn’t like it at the time, because he thought they were making fun of him. He sometimes got into fights with his friends over it, and asked them to call him Edson, his real name. They continued to call him Pelé though. Pelé says “Even today, my real friends call me Edson.”
There was a time, earlier in his life, when Pelé, smaller than most people he played against, would get into fights often during soccer games. Often times when he’d outclass the older boys he was playing against, they’d become cynical, and start fights with him. “He would come right back and take a swing at the kid who hit him. The games would be cut off when everybody got into a fight,” recalls Pelé’s younger brother, Zoca. Pelé would often watch older workers play street games, and try to pick up moves from them. He and his friends would share their dreams of playing on a well-known team. Who would’ve thought? “Often when I got home from my job and from the games we played I was very tired and would skip my dinner. But to me playing soccer was even more important than eating,” Pelé says, reminiscing of his younger years.
The chance Pelé had hoped for most of his life, a spot on a soccer team, came to him when he was 12 years old. A former Brazilian soccer player, Valdemar de Brito, who was also a talent scout, had heard a lot about Pelé. As it turned out, Valdemar had been looking to start a junior soccer...