Arantes Do Nascimento (Pele)
"It seems that God brought me to Earth with a mission to play soccer," Edson Arantes Do Nascimento (Pele).
Born Edson Arantes Do Nascimento (better known as Pele) is known as a legend and the best soccer player to ever play the game. He was raised in a very poor family in Tres Coracos, Brazil and his parents, Dondinho and Celeste Nascimento called Edson "Dico," growing up.
He first learned the game of soccer from his father, Dondinho, who was a decent center forward until his career was halted by a fractured leg.
Pele began playing soccer for a local minor-league club when he was a teenager. When he wasn't playing soccer he shined shoes for pennies. He was discovered at the age of 11 by one of the country's premier players, Waldemar de Brito. When Brito brought Pele to Sao Paulo he declared to the disbelieving directors of the professional team in Santos, "This boy will be the greatest soccer player in the world."
He was right! Pele's impact was immediate! On his first appearance for the team, against Corinthians F.C., he scored a goal right away. He was only 16.
Pelй went on to play in four World Cups with Brazil's National Team. At the 1958 World Cup in Sweden -- one he nearly missed because of a knee injury -- Pele stunned the world scoring six goals, including two in the championship game to help Brazil win its first World Cup 5-2 over Sweden. He was only 17 years-old, but a legend was born.
An average-sized man, he was blessed with speed, great balance, tremendous vision, the ability to control the ball superbly, and the ability to shoot powerfully and accurately with either foot and with his head.
Four years later he played on Brazil's World Cup team at in the finals in Chile, but an injury suffered in the first game of the tournament prevented him from helping Brazil win its second title.
Wealthy European clubs offered massive fees to sign the young player, but the government of Brazil declared Pele an official national treasure to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.
At the 1966 World Cup in England, Pele was the victim of some brutal tackles from Bulgarian and Portuguese defenders and left the finals injured and in tears. But the best of Pele was still to come.
At the 1970 finals in Mexico, the 29-year-old Pele, led one of the greatest teams ever assembled to win Brazil's third World Cup. In the 4-1 title triumph over Italy, Pele, scored a glorious goal. It was Brazil's 100th World Cup goal, and the one he remembers the most.