Pele: the birth of a legendary Afro-Brazilian footballer

Pele: the birth of a legendary Afro-Brazilian footballer


  • Exact name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento
  • Born: October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 1957 – 1971 (92 caps, 77 goals, 1281 goals in 1363 matches)
  • His job: striker and playmaker
  • Brazilian and world football ambassador
  • Ambassador of the UN and UNESCO

Pele is an exceptional Afro-Brazilian footballer. He is a great football legend. With an incredible playing technique and extraordinary abilities, he has marked the world of Brazilian football hence his nickname “King Pelé. “
In the favelas, local youth enjoyed themselves playing football in amateur games dubbed “Pelada. Inspired by the gestures of capoeira or traditional dances from Africa, they develop a remarkable agility and game technique. Pelé was among them. In his youth, our champion grew up in extreme poverty. For lack of money, he could not afford to buy a suitable balloon. So he started playing with a sock stuffed with newspaper, tied with string or grapefruit. In parallel, he worked as a servant in a tea shop. But, his passion has always been football. Improvisation, dribbling, control of the ball, Pele great fan of the great player Zizinho works tirelessly to improve his style of play. Afro-Brazilian ginga is in action.

Beloved in Brazil and around the world, Pelé has thrilled the hearts of millions of people. He has been world champion three times (1958, 1962, 1970) and remains the greatest player of all time, becoming Minister of Sport in 1995, the first black in Brazil to have such a high profile. has helped to change the image of blacks in Brazil because, as you know, blacks suffer a lot of discrimination in Brazil, they earn less than white Brazilians and are often excluded from society.
Pelé explains:

 Yes, I think I changed the way people look at black people. There were two highlights. At the 1958 World Cup, when the King of Sweden descended on the field. For the first time in history, he was photographed shaking hands with a black man. The second event is when Queen Elizabeth made me “Sir” of the United Kingdom: again, it was a huge symbol. »

Black footballers are no exception, they are often victims of racist acts and words in their regard. King Pele answered the ignorant intelligently. Whenever he was insulted on his skin color, he scored two goals in every game to take revenge. The players of the opposing team stunned, came to apologize for his talent. Work, talent silences the ignorant.
More: Pelé left for Zaire in 1969 with Santos. During their match, the civil war that reigned, stopped.


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