Home » The football king once hated the nickname Pele and stopped the civil war to watch him play. The Brazilian star who started as a shoe shiner | Style | Al Jazeera

The football king once hated the nickname Pele and stopped the civil war to watch him play. The Brazilian star who started as a shoe shiner | Style | Al Jazeera

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The football king once hated the nickname Pele and stopped the civil war to watch him play. The Brazilian star who started as a shoe shiner | Style | Al Jazeera

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as “Pelé”, was born in 1940 and died in Brazil at the end of 2022. He was nicknamed “The King of Balls”. He was one of the players with the most goals and won the World Cup three times Champion, what he achieved in his 22-year career, won many honors, which is the pinnacle of his football history.

Pele’s many achievements in football have won many honors. Therefore, people call him “Black Jewel, King of the Ball”. In his hometown, his nickname is “Dicko”, which means warrior.

He loved playing football since he was a child, and it was his innate talent that made him the world‘s first black sports star.

Pele started his professional career at the age of 15. He played for the Brazilian club Santos and the American Cosmos from 1956 to 1977. He represented the Brazilian national team at the age of 16 and won the world championship at the age of 17. He just turned 20 years old. The Brazilian government regards him as a “national treasure”.

Magician Pelé has been praised for calling football a “beautiful game” and the Brazilian national team a “beautiful team”.

Since retiring from football in 1977, he has become a football ambassador and 19 November is known as “Pelé Day” to mark the anniversary of his 100th goal at his club Santos.

born and raised

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940 in the town of Tres Corazóís (meaning “three hearts”), Minas Gerais, Brazil, a First child in a Catholic family.

His parents had wanted to name him after the famous inventor Thomas Edison, since the neighborhood he lived in had electricity before he was born.

Because he mispronounced the name of his favorite goalkeeper “Billy”, his classmates called him “Pele”.

The ball king once hated the nickname Bailey and was expelled from school for beating up a classmate who gave him the nickname, but he quickly made a name for himself in the game hall and joints with this nickname. A nickname that is widely known on world football pitches.

He loves football and wishes he could change his name, changing it to “Star Edson Arantes do Nascimento,” saying of his upbringing: “I was born poor, lived in a In a small brick house, which is not strong and may collapse at any moment, the tragedy is evident.” Later, the street where the house stood was known as Bailey.

Aside from football, his hobbies are fishing, songwriting and playing the guitar. He also enjoys swimming, skipping class to swim with friends in the river next to the railway tracks, who would swim in their school uniforms and hang them on a branch to dry.

Late legend Pele in Kuwait (Kabas)

working children

In 1944 Bailey and his family moved to the city of Bauru, where they all had jobs, where his grandfather and grandmother owned horse-drawn carts that sold and delivered firewood, and his father, nicknamed “Don Dinho”, Was a footballer for a local club but he didn’t gain any fame and when he injured his knee he retired and his club refused to pay him wages.

Because of his poor family, Bailey used to walk barefoot and wear old clothes, and their meals sometimes consisted of a slice of bread with a few bananas, so, as the eldest of two brothers, he decided to work as a shoe shiner to help his father with the family expenses .

Bailey said of that time, “I remember when I was 7 years old, with the help of Uncle George, I raised enough money to buy the equipment needed to shine shoes. At first, I didn’t make any money. Money, half our street is barefoot, so when I have a client, I don’t know how to charge.”

Pele’s mother insisted that her son not go out to work and grudgingly accepted that he accompany his father to the Eurosports stadium on matchdays, where he found enough shoe-shining clients to go to the train station and earn a handsome fortune income.

classroom clown

Bailey’s mother made sure her son kept up with his studies, and she used to send him to school by sewing him ripped shorts and T-shirts out of wheat sackcloth.

Bailey said his family bought him a set of colored pencils, which he used up in a short time because he was used to drawing everything in front of him.

At first, Bailey was disciplined in his studies after learning from his father that unless he studied he would not be able to be the pilot he wanted to be, but, in his words, he quickly became the class The “clown” of his school, who was often punished by making him kneel on dried beans that looked like pebbles.

He received other punishments, including standing in a corner of the classroom with his face against a wall for extended periods of time with his hands outstretched.

He once described himself as not an excellent student, saying, “I want to study, and I’m not stupid, but the school and I are in two worlds.”

‘Pelé’ and ‘Diego Maradona’ take part in a football campaign ahead of the opening of the UEFA EURO 2016[Reuters]

From street football to professionalism

Pele’s skinny body and his stature made his colleagues scoff at him. At first, he didn’t like football. Later, he was influenced by his father, because his father taught him the rules of football games.

Bailey played barefoot in the nearby streets and he and his friends used to make their balls out of socks and rags and sew them up and play with friends whenever new socks or clothes fell into their hands When the balls grow larger, they often steal these from a nearby clothesline.

The dream that Bailey has always said to his colleagues is, “One day, I will be as strong as my father.” Under his father’s leadership, he and his first team participated in many local competitions, and Bailey won the competition. Best shooter title.

He also led the Bauru club juniors to two youth championships, then played with “Raydom” and participated in the region’s first indoor football match, which he won with his team and Many other titles.

The first money he got through soccer was scoring the winning goal in a game between the neighborhood teams. Fans threw some coins at him. He picked them up and handed them to his mom for her to play against. He was satisfied and let him play, because she didn’t want Bailey to be a player like his father, but wanted him to be a doctor.

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In 2006, Bailey participated in the publicity meeting of “Bailey Biography” in London (Reuters)

A Historic Career at Santos

Pele got his first pair of boots at the age of 11 after being one of the players chosen by ex-player ‘Vladimir De Brito’ – who was scouting for talent and bringing them to ‘ Baru Athletic” youth club – until he was able to join in 1954.

With the team, Pele won the Youth Cup and scored more than 100 goals in 33 games, a success that was a step towards the club “Santos” with the help of “De Brito” , De Brito said at the time, “You’re playing against the best player in the world.”

Club historian Jeremy Gualch said at the time, “Barou arrived in 1956 as a skinny boy and I couldn’t believe that Pele was able to train with the first team right away, the players who were champions in 1955, And at the top of the state championship standings, Bailey was running around everybody and everybody wanted to know who he was.”

Vasconislos, in turn, said, “The number 10 jersey in the team belonged to me without dispute, until the arrival of a little boy with feet as thin as two matchsticks, who went down in history as Pele. “

The Brazilian soccer star played his first game on the country’s national day, scoring his first goal in a stadium that no longer exists.

He became a regular at the team from 1957, played for the team from 1956 to 1974, and achieved his first achievement in 1958, winning the Paulista title and finishing with 58 The goal won the title of top scorer, a record that no one can surpass so far.

Pele has won 11 regional titles and 5 local league titles, two Copa Libertadores titles, two Intercontinental Cup titles, and two Club World Cup titles.

In his 18 years as a striker for the club, he scored 643 goals in 656 games and was also a substitute in the goalkeeper position, wearing gloves four times in his club career without conceding a single goal in his hands. a ball.

Postage stamp printed in Equatorial Guinea shows Pele during the 1978 FIFA World Cup (Shutterstock)

“national treasure”

In 1960, several international clubs expressed the hope that “Pelé” would join them. At that time, Inter Milan offered 40 million Brazilian Cruzeiro to sign Pele.

However, Brazil considers Pele to be a “national treasure that cannot be exported,” as declared by the country’s then-president “Ianio Cordas,” and was confirmed by Congress in 1961, when a safety law was issued. decision, preventing Pele from leaving his team at Santos.

“Samba Legion”

“Pelé” started his international journey with the Brazilian national team known as the “Samba Legion” when he was only 16 years and 9 months old. On July 7, 1957, he participated in the opening game against Argentina and scored his first national team goal.

Pele fulfilled a promise he had made to himself by winning the World Cup in Sweden in 1958, and after seeing his father cry when the Brazilian national team lost the first World Cup in Brazil in 1950, Pele said to his father, “Daddy, Don’t cry, one day I will win the World Cup for you.”

At that time, he scored 3 goals in the 1958 final, an unprecedented achievement, and repeated this feat in Chile in 1962. However, he was injured in the previous competition and could not participate in the 1966 World Cup. His country lost the trophy in that World Cup and won it again in Mexico in 1970.

Pele was the second player to score in four World Cups, contributing six assists in the 1970 World Cup, a record goal, plus two against Italy , During the World Cup, he scored 12 goals in 14 games.

Brazil won the “Jules Rimet Trophy” for the treble, but it was stolen in 1983 and has been missing since.

Brazil fans hold up a banner addressed to Pele at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which reads “You will be well soon” (Reuters)

“New King”

When then-manager Vicente Viola faced backlash from psychiatrists at the Brazilian Sports Federation in 1958 against the young star’s participation in the World Cup final in Sweden on the grounds that he was immature, the coach responded by saying, “You’re probably right, unless you don’t know anything about football and I saw the way Pele played.”

Pele said in a documentary: “When I went to the 1958 World Cup, people thought it was too much for me and too much responsibility, but it wasn’t, I didn’t feel anxious and I was playing against Wales. The first goal I scored in the game was the one that opened the door for my career.”

Bailey, the youngest player to play in the tournament at the time, aged 17 years and 249 days, started off the bench and then featured mainly against the Soviet Union and in the quarter-finals against Wales. Scored his first goal in the game and became the youngest goal scorer in the World Cup.

He led his country to the final, scoring 3 goals against France, then against the Swedish national team, he scored 2 of 5 goals to win the Champions League, after which he stupefied with excessive joy.

The tournament was the start of Pele’s ascent, a year in which his picture graced magazine covers and newspaper front pages around the world, while French magazine Paris-Match announced the emergence of a “new champion”. .

And this achievement was the moment Brazil was introduced, at the time, Brazil was known as the “Pelé Country” and Brazil forgot to send the numbers of its players to FIFA, so it was chosen randomly, once By chance, the eternal number 10 was printed on the back of Pele’s jersey.

The involvement of “Pelé” in 1967 as part of his team’s “Santos” tour of the African country resulted in a 48-hour standstill between both sides of the Nigerian Civil War at the time to watch Pele’s exhibition match against the Nigerian Eagles in Lagos .

Furthermore, the decision to exclude the football legend from the Brazilian national team in a friendly match resulted in the dismissal of the then coach, while the current Colombian referee “Velazquez” was involved in a 1968 match with the “Santos” club. It left him vulnerable to the insults of the Brazilian public when he was fired in a friendly, after which around 25 people beat him up.

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Referee “Velazquez” said in a 2010 news interview that he was then asked to leave the stadium and hand the whistle to a sideline official for Pele to return to the stadium.

Pele became the youngest player to score at the World Cup with his first goal against Wales in the quarter-finals (Reuters)

inspired in america

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger persuaded the Brazilian government to give Pele to the New York Cosmos football club for $6 million, a figure not even offered to U.S. President Gerald Ford, whose salary at the time was 20. million dollars, the United States at that time decided to establish a professional football league for the first time.

“Now that football has come to America, the news can be broadcast to the world,” Pele said when he arrived in New York on June 28, 1975, aged 35.

Pele has become the footballer’s “new king” and, as the club’s former defender Warner Rose puts it, “a legend, an unimaginable man, so what’s it like to play with him?” he continued. , “We feel this guy is going to advance football in America.”

Bailey scored 64 goals in 107 games in 3 seasons with the Cosmos. In the last game of his career, he won the championship trophy in front of 37,000 spectators who came to see him off at the Portland Stadium. He was carried on his shoulders On the Internet, he was called the “ball king” of the United States. At that time, he had transformed from a football player to a brand.

Brazil’s Neymar holds up Pele’s flag after Brazil’s victory over South Korea at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (Reuters)


In 1977, at the age of 37, Pele announced his retirement from international football in front of 150,000 spectators during a match against Yugoslavia at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

At the end of the game, the Brazilian football legend wore a solid gold crown on his head and held the No. 10 jersey to wipe his tears. Previously, Pele became the top scorer in Brazil’s history. Scored 77 goals.

“Pelé” became a world football ambassador, was awarded the post of honorary chairman of the “Universe” club in the United States, was appointed as the Minister of Sports of Brazil in 1995, and served as a goodwill ambassador for UNESCO. Collaborator and 2014 World Cup Ambassador.

The football king stated in his autobiography, “I have lived my wildest dreams in my life, a life full of laughter and tears, victories and defeats. All in all, I have experienced more happiness than I have experienced troubles.” He has only worn the Brazil captain’s armband once in his career.

Pele lucky enough to wear number 10 after his country forgot to send player number to FIFA (social sites)

No. 10 jersey

On October 1, 1977 at the Giants Stadium in front of 76000 fans, this was the farewell to the owner of the thousand goals in a friendly match, the US team against the old “Pelé” club “Santos”, he played in every team After half-time, Pele said at the time, “I have lived the best and most exciting time of my life here and I am very sorry that I will stop doing what I love most in life, which is playing football. “

“Bailey” took off the last jersey he was wearing in the middle of the field, threw it into the air, and fell into the hands of “Sanders” player “Jamie Marksteller”, who put it away without washing it, and put it away. It sits in a deposit box at the “Seattle” bank. Years ago, he received an offer for $100,000, but he declined to sell it, saying: “It’s hard to sell a piece of history. It’s more valuable to sell it, and I think it’s kind of blasphemous to sell something so important.”

Christie’s once sold a jersey worn by Pele in the 1970 World Cup final for 260,000 euros in the “nostalgia” market, when Italian national team defender Roberto Rosato, after the match, Swapped his own jersey with Bailey’s jersey.

A jersey worn by Pelé for US club Cosmos last season was worth around $38,000, while a jersey he wore also sold for 30,000 euros at a sports collectibles auction in Turin, Italy. sold.

The wife of former jersey official Charles Martinelli sewed the player’s name and number on the jersey. She said, “I like to sew Pele jerseys because his name is much shorter than other players’ names.”

In 2016, Martinelli presented Bailey’s complete collection, which sold at a London auction for $4,200,000.

He mispronounced the name of his favorite player, goalkeeper ‘Biley’, causing his teammates to taunt him and call him ‘Pelé’ (social site)

way of playing

Bailey is known as a talented striker and playmaker, known for his superb physical fitness, dribbling, perfect passing and super fast speed, he is also known for his proficiency in the backcourt, known as the “scissors attack” ” and “Double Offense”.

The Brazilian magician is equally accurate with headers and long-range shots, and he can also take free-kicks and penalties, a style he often dismisses as a cowardly way to score goals.

Bailey was also good at playing the ball, reading and anticipating the moves of his teammates, and was known for his quick wit.

most eye-catching goal

  • A goal against Fluminense in 1961 is listed as one of the greatest goals in football history and a plaque was erected in his honor, reading: “A goal to remember.”
  • Goal against France in the 1958 World Cup.
  • Direct free-kick goal against Romania in the 1970 World Cup.
  • Headed goal against the Italian national team in 1970.
Pele after Brazil beat Italy in the 1970 World Cup final (AP)

record numbers

  • Of the 4 games he played, 3 were World Cup winners.
  • The youngest player to score 3 “hat-trick” goals in a single game in the World Cup finals.
  • He scored 127 goals for Santos in one year.
  • In his football career, he performed 92 “hat-tricks”.
  • He scored 1281 goals in 1363 games (friendly and official) and he also published a book about his life story called Goals in Guinness Book of World Records.
  • According to a poll in Europe in 1980, the “Pele” brand was rated as the second largest brand in the world.
  • In 1977, the American Cosmos drew 62,394 fans, and in the first leg, there were 77,891 fans.
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The Brazilian star went after the scandal of his illegitimate son, who denied him and denied the rumours.

It wasn’t until a court ruling in 1996 that Bailey acknowledged his late daughter, Sandra, who he didn’t even attend her funeral. Before she died, Sandra published her book, The Daughter the Ball King Doesn’t Want to Admit “.

In 2005, his son, former “Santos” club goalkeeper Edinho was sentenced by the court. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison for multiple crimes including money laundering and drug trafficking. After appealing the judgment, the sentence was reduced to 13 years.

Pele starred at the World Cup in 1958 at the age of 17 and won it (French media)

Comments on Bailey

Brazil coach Tite:Pele was the only person I shook hands with in 2018 when it was like a dream.

In March 1977, Bailey met with former US President Jimmy Carter, who told him:“I’m Jimmy Carter, you don’t need to introduce yourself, everyone knows you.”

Costa Pereira:I came here hoping to stop a great man, but I left convinced he was from a different planet.

Player Cafu:Pele has achieved a football revolution, stopped wars, united countries and families, no race and language issues, I was born in 1970, and in 2002, I became world champion and had the honor to take over the World Cup from Pele.

Galliano described Pele’s character in his famous book “Football Between the Shadows of the Sun”:Those of us who were lucky enough to see him play were rewarded with rare bouquets of beauty, worthy of the moment of immortality that made us believe that immortality exists. “

Artist Andre Warhol:Bailey is one of the few people who contradicts my theory that he will have 15 centuries of fame instead of 15 years.

Bobby Charlton:I sometimes feel like football was invented for this amazing player.

Alice Peleus writes in his book “Football”: There are many scenes where Pele belongs more to the world than Brazil, he is an important point internationally, a simple guy, a dark boy who came from a poor background and became the best player in the world by virtue of his talent , but the Brazilians don’t like him as much as they like Garrincha.

England player Bobby Moore:Pele is a complete player, he has everything, good feet, aerial magic, speed and power, perfect balance, and incredible vision, he is the greatest because he can do everything in football.

Brazilian player Zico:This discussion about the player of the century is ridiculous and there is only one possible answer, Pele, he is the greatest player of all time.

French player Michel Platini:There is Pele, and then there is Pele, playing like Pele is playing like a king.

Portuguese player Ronaldo:Pele is the greatest player in football history and there will only ever be one Pele.

During his final match, the “player” donned a solid gold crown and wandered around the stadium (Al Jazeera)

Some of Bailey’s most famous quotes:

– I was born for football as Beethoven was born for music.

– Any kid playing football around the world wants to be Pele and I have a huge responsibility to show them not just how to be a footballer but how to be a man.

– This is how I scored a goal against Czechoslovakia, without thinking, concentrating and putting the ball hard into the goal.

– The first team to make a mistake may pay the most.

– When I was young, I looked at other people’s feet, but now they look at my feet.

– When he was voted the best player of the twentieth century, he was asked who was Pele and who was Edson Arantes do Nascimento and he replied: They are two people in one character , for kids and people who love football, he is a legend and a role model for the whole world, but Ederson is a person with strengths and weaknesses, and that is the difference.


santos football club

  • 1959 Copa America final.
  • Copa Libertadores in 1962 and 1963.
  • 1962 and 1963 Intercontinental Cup.
  • Brazil Cup in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1968.
  • Champion of the São Paulo League in 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1973.
Pele won the World Cup three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970 (social networking sites)


  • The best player of the 20th century, on par with the late Argentine legend Diego Maradona.
  • In 1999, the IOC Century Athlete.
  • In 2000, he was the first to receive the “Lawrence Lifetime Achievement Award”.
  • In the list of the most important people of the twentieth century published by Time magazine in the United States.
  • 2004 FIFA Centenary Award.
  • FIFA Ball of Honor 2013.
  • 1993 UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
  • 1965 Libertadores Top Scorer Cup.
  • Intercontinental top scorer in 1962 and 1963.
  • Top scorer in the Brazilian league in 1961, 1963 and 1964.
  • Top scorer in the Sao Paulo State Football League 11 times: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1973.
  • Sao Paulo Torneo’s top scorer in 1963.
  • The best player in the 1958 World Cup.
  • 1958 World Cup Silver Ball Award.
  • 1970 World Cup Ballon d’Or (best player).
  • 1959 America’s Cup top scorer.
  • 7 Golden Globe Awards: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1970.
  • 1984 FIFA Medal of Merit.
  • BBC Sportsman of the Year in 1970 and 2005.
  • 2000 Lawrence Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Member of the 20th Century World Team in 1998.
  • In 1977 he was appointed UN Ambassador and in 1993 as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
  • 1997 Commander of the British Order of Honor.
  • 1984 FIFA 80th Anniversary Medal.
  • In 1984, he was awarded the Order of the South American Federation.
  • In 1991, he was awarded the National Order of Merit by the Brazilian Government.
Bailey with his two daughters days before his death (social networking site)

passed away

Brazilian football legend Pele died on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at the age of 82.

A statement issued by Brazil’s Albert Einstein Hospital said the cause of death was “multiple organ failure caused by the development of colon cancer.”

The most famous Brazilian player was hospitalized in São Paulo on November 29, 2022, according to his medical team, as a re-evaluation of the chemotherapy he has been receiving since September 2021, when he underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his colon.

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