Soccer is a popular sport that attracts thousands of spectators. Players from different countries compete in local and international tournaments such as the Champions League. Ardent soccer fans have varying opinions on who are the best soccer players in history. Nevertheless, Edson Arantes, popularly known as Pele tops the list of exceptional soccer players.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940, in Minas Gerais, Brazil. His parents were Joao Ramos do Nascimento and Celeste Arantes. Pele grew up in Bauru, Sao Paulo. His father taught him to play football during his free time. The Brazilian footballer played for several amateur teams including Ameriquinha, Canto do Rio and Sete de Setembro. He later played indoor football for Radium.
Pele relocated to Santos in 1956 and signed with Santos FC. He impressed Lula, the club’s coach in his trial game. Lulla promoted him to his senior team on September 7, 1956. Edson scored his first goal while playing against Corinthians Santo Andre. He was the top scorer in the 1957 Brazilian league season. He helped Santos win the Campeonato Paulista in 1958. Pele helped his club regain the trophy in 1960 by scoring 47 goals.
Santos FC was in the same group with Deportivo Municipal Bolivia and Cerro Porteno in the Copa Libertadores 1962 season. The club didn’t lose any group match. They won their semi-final game against Universidad Catolica. Santos faced Penarol in the final match. Santos defended Taca Brasil and Campeonato Brasileiro in 1962. Pele scored four goals and 37 goals in the two tournaments.
Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid attempted to sign Pele due to his exceptional performance in the 1962 World Cup.
Santos FC qualified for the semi-final games of the 1963 Copa Libertadores. They were the defending champions of the previous torunament. They defeated Boca Juniors and Botafogo. Pele scored the winning goal in his club’s first leg match against Botafogo. He scored three goals in the second leg game. Pelé is renowned for his accurate shots. He used his two feet to dribble skilled opponents. He retired from soccer in 1977.
Pele scored 1281 goals in 1363 appearances during his sports career. He scored goals during friendly club games, international tours and local leagues. He was the first Brazilian player who scored more than 75 goals in less than 100 games. Pelé made 10 assists in different World Cup tournaments. Here is a list of awards he received in the past:
FIFA World Cup Silver Ball, 1958
FIFA World Cup Best Young Player, 1958
FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur, 2013
South American Player of the Century, 1999
FIFA Order of Merit, 1984
FIFA Player of the Century, 2000
FIFA Centennial Award, 2004
Most soccer fans support certain players and teams. Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the most popular football players in the 21st century. Many millennials don’t know the achievements which Pele made in his sports career.