As the world mourn football icon Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pele, here are 11 interesting facts about the late football great.
- Pele who was born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento on 23rd October 1940 in Brazil, is widely regarded the greatest football player of all time. He was also named in the 20th Century list of 100 most influential people made by Time Magazine. Here are 10 interesting facts about the living legend.
- Pele was signed by Santos when he was 15. He scored four goals on his league debut in a match against FC Corinthians on September 7, 1956.
- At 17, Pele became the youngest ever winner of a World Cup. He also scored twice in the final against home side Sweden.
- Pele scored a total of 1,283 first-class goals, including 77 for Brazil.
- He was voted athlete of the century by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1999
- On November 19, 1969, Pele scored his 1000th career goal. Hundreds raced onto the pitch to mob the Brazilian star and it took over 30 minutes for the game to resume.
- At Santos, Brazil, November 19 is known as ‘Pele Day’ to celebrate the anniversary of his 1,000th goal.
- In 1967, a 48-hour ceasefire was declared in Nigeria so that Federal and Rebel troops could watch Pele play, on a visit to the war-torn nation.
- In Brazil he is often called “Pérola Negra”, which means Black Pearl.
- The Brazilian government declared Pelé an official national treasure in 1961 to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.
- He won three World Cups, two World Club Championships and nine Sao Paulo State Championships. Pele is the only player to win three World Cups.
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