A lot is known about the G.O.A.T. Pelé, but there are still untold stories about him that only a few know. Do you know that Pelé scored eight goals in a single match?
We will be uncovering some interesting facts and stories about Pelé in this article. We will shine a light on some deep parts of his personal life, his career, and records. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started.
1. While growing up, Pelé used a rag-stuffed sock to practice his dribbling skills as his family couldn’t afford to buy an actual soccer ball for him.
2. Pelé signed a contract of $10 a month with Santos in 1956 when he was just 15 years old.
3. 19 years after his first contract, he signed a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos. It made him the highest‐paid team athlete in the world at the time.
4. Due to the fact so many European clubs were coming in for Pelé, President Janio declared him a national treasure in 1961 to prevent him from leaving his country.
5. His parents named him after an American inventor, Thomas Edison. His real name being Edson Arantes do Nascimiento.
6. Pelé was born in Trés Corações Brazil on October 23, 1940.
7. Pelé served as the minister of sports in Brazil from 1995 to 1998.
8. Queen Elizabeth gave Pelé a British Knighthood honorary in 1977.
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9. November 19th is ‘Pelé Day’ at Santos, an event used to celebrate the anniversary of his 1,000th goal.
10. In 1967, during the Nigerian civil war, the two rebel and federal troops agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire so that they could watch Pelé play on a visit to the war-torn nation.
11. Pelé contributed to the fundraising of millions of pounds for charitable causes like Great Ormond Street and Harlem Street Soccer.
12. Pelé nickname is ‘Dico’, given to him by his family.
13. Although his town didn’t have the necessary skills to pipe gas into their homes; ESPN said that he used his pay to buy a gas stove for his mother.
14. Pelé married a psychologist and gospel singer Assíria Lemos Seixas in April 1994.
15. Rapper Pras mentioned Pelé in his song titled ‘Ghetto Superstar’.
16. In 2000, BBC gave him a second position in the ‘Sportsman of the century award’ while boxing legend, Muhammad Ali came first.
17. In Brazil, he was usually called ‘Pérola Negra’ which means Black pearl.
18. Pelé was made a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993.
19. Pelé’s first football team was named ‘The shoeless ones’. He formed this team with a group of friends from his neighborhood.
20. Cristiano Ronaldo called Pelé the greatest player in football history and the only Pelé in the world.
21. He scored 92 hat-tricks, scored four goals on 31 occasions, five on six occasions, and also scored eight goals in one match.
22. Pelé served as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador and as a United Nations ambassador, he worked to protect the environment and fight corruption in Brazil.
23. Whenever Pelé and the legendary Garrincha played together, they never lost a game.
24. His record of the most goal scorer for the national team is a record that has stood for almost 40 years.
25. He scored Brazil’s 100th World Cup goal by heading the ball.
26. ‘Pelé’s Soccer’, a video game invented in the 1980s was named after him.
27. He scored his first hat-trick for Santos against Lavras on June 9, 1957.
28. During a joint press conference, Pelé gifted Mandela an autographed jersey and the latter said he would treasure the priceless gift for the rest of his life.
29. Pelé worked as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Champion for Sport at the beginning of 1994.
30. He was to this day the only footballer to win the World Cup three times.
31. Pelé paused his career after his World Cup heroics and served in the military for six months.
32. Pelé shined people’s shoes and sold roasted peanuts outside movie theatres when he was 6.
33. Pelé never won the famed world’s best player award, the Ballon d’Or despite his tremendous achievements because, during his playing days prior to 1995, the accolade was reserved for only European players. He was later awarded the Ballon d’Or by FIFA in 2014.
34. Pelé won the International Peace Award in 1978.
35. Pelé’s biggest rivalry is Maradona.
36. He was nicknamed O Rei (The King) after his performance in the 1958 tournament.
37. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted him in as the athlete of the year in 1999.
38. Pelé is the fifth all-time World Cup goal scorer’s list with 12+ and the second highest-placed Brazilian behind Ronaldo.
39. Noted English football writer Geoffrey Green once declared “Di Stefano was manufactured on earth, but Pelé was made in heaven.”
40. Pelé said, “a penalty is a cowardly way to score a goal”.
41. On August 1, 2010, Pelé was introduced as the Honorary President of a restored New York Cosmos on August 1, 2010.
42. The Times of London declared “G-O-D” as the correct way of spelling Pelé.
43. He scored his first World Cup goal in a Brazil vs Wales quarter-final in 1958. Brazil won the match 1-0.
44. Coca-Cola sponsors a Pelé museum on wheels that journeys throughout the country in Brazil.
45. On November 21, 1964, Pelé scored eight goals at Santos ran riot against Botafogo to register a monumental 11-0 victory.
46. Dutch artist Dick Brynestein made a drawing of him and called him Pietje Pelé.
47. Widely viewed film in Western cinema, Citizen Kane, finished on the day of Pelé’s birth.
48. The first iPod that the world saw was produced on Pelé birthday in 2001.
49. Pelé scored his 1000th goal through penalty.
50. During Mexico’70 when Pelé gestured to the referee that he needed to tie his shoelace, the camera zoomed in to reveal the Puma boots he was wearing. The company Puma made a huge sale from that single act.
51. Pelé led an advertising campaign for the drug Viagra in 2005. He was widely commended for breaking the taboo about speaking or receiving treatment for erectile dysfunction.
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