My Early Years
I was born in Tres Coracoes, in Brasil on October 23rd, 1940. I moved to Bauru with my family as a young boy. I am the oldest of three children. My younger brother and sister are named Maria and Jair. When I was little I was a HUGE fan of football and pretty good at it too. My father had played football for a while but he hurt his knee so he couldn't play anymore. Me and my father would listen to football games on the radio every night.
My real name isn't Pele as you probably think it is. It is actually Edson Arantes do Nascimento, long right? I was named after Thomas Edison. When I was about 8 someone started calling me Pele and the name stuck. My family called me Dico when I was growing up. At first I didn't like being called Pele and wanted to be called Dico. But finally I gave up and didn't care. My father was called Dondinho when he played just as I am called Pele.
I haven't always wanted to play football. When I was still in school I really wanted to be an aviator (a plane flyer). So I studied really hard. But then an aviator crashed near my house and died. I never wanted to be a plane flier again.
The Picture Below
When I was young, my friends and I made a football club called " The Shoeless Ones". We played against other boys on the street with an old sock full of newspaper. But soon we found out that we weren't the only football players who were shoeless so we started shining shoes for people.
My Teenage Years
When I was about 11 a man named Zé Leite saw our team and instantly arranged for the Bauru Athletic Club to donate used shoes for us. Now our team had a new name, new shoes and a coach. Our coach was Zé Leite and our new name was Amériquinha. We won our first real game thanks to Leite. But a little while after that I was asked to join the Bauru Juinor Football club and there I met a former football star, Waldemar de Brito, who changed my life.
Making The Team
Since my dad played on the Bauru team he knew most of the players and they all welcomed me in pleasantly. De Brito and the rest of the team taught me many wonderful tricks like "bending" the ball and the bicycle kick. But then again I was asked to play on another team, this time a team from Rio de Janeiro. My mother said that no, I wasn't allowed to go to Rio by myself but after a lot of persuading she finally let me go. At first I was really homesick and nervous, but then after a while it didn't matter if I was at home or away as long as I played football. In my games I was scoring about 4 to 5 goals. Then still, I got more. Now, thanks to a coach, I was being paid nearly 75$ a month!!! I felt super proud of myself because I was doing so well. Not long after that I was asked to join the Brasilian national team. I was only 16.
On The Brasilian National Team
When I started my mother was so worried that, one, I would hurt my knee like my father and two, I would be poorly cared for and not treated well. But fortunately, I got moved in with a former basketball star named Ramundo. There I was well cared for and I had Ramundo's mother to take care of me. Finally, in 1958, my dreams were made. Even though I had played for the team in a tournament or two, I probably wouldn't make the Brasilian Selection because after all, I was only 17. The Brasilian Selection is the final choosing of the players who would be playing in the World Cup Series, as the Brasilian team would be playing in that year. But still I hoped to make it and as I was listening to the Brasilian Selection one evening at my parents house, they called out MY name!! I froze and as my mother walked into my room, I managed to mumble " I've been chosen". But the hard work was not over yet. I still had to make the top 11 and that was pretty hard.
On The Brasilian National Team 2
When I found out that my name was still on the list, the relief was almost unbearable. But while I was playing against the Corinthians I suffered a severe knee injury that bothered me on and off for the rest of my life. Luckily the doctors had me up and running again. Our next games were in Sweden but I wasn't allowed to play for the first two games, a win and a tie. I was allowed to play in the third game though, a win. Brasil won the next two games and I did a hat trick that sent people flying by flipping the ball over a mans head, ran around him and kicked the ball into the net! We won the World Cup final! Woohoo!!!
My Annoying Leg
In 1962 I injured (again) my leg. But this time it was my groin muscle. It hurt so much I could barely walk so I couldn't play in any games. That gave me more time to spend with my girlfriend Rosemari, who I met a few years back. I came back again though and helped Brasil win a game. A few games after that, I married Rosemari. In the year 1966 I played in yet another World Cup and lost! It was Brasil's first lose in 12 years. So I decided not to play in another Cup again with Brasil and a year later I had my first child, a girl named Kelly. Then I moved to America and played for the Cosmos. It was a big deal back then and I was a bit nervous.
I played lots and lots of games with the Cosmos and won all of them (I think). Life in America was fun and good and I got payed a lot of money. Life was good there but in 1978 I got divorced to Rosemari. But then in 1994 I remarried to Assiria Lemos.
The Bicycle Kick
One of my most famous moves is the bicycle kick. Here is how it works: the ball has to be in the air coming toward you, then you have to flip over backwards and kick the ball in midair. It is pretty hard unless you really know how to do it. Here is a picture down below of me doing the bicycle kick.
Nowadays I am still alive and donate as much money as possible to charities such as UNICEF and I also help kids in Brasil. In my lifetime I have scored 1,284 goals in my career of football. I am not sure how many medals and achievements I have won but I am sure it is a lot.