| Born Edson Arantes Do Nascimento (better known as
Pelé) is known as a legend and the best soccer player to ever play
the game. He was raised in a very poor family in Tres Coracos, Brazil and
his parents, Dondinho and Celeste Nascimento called Edson "Dico," growing
He first learned the game of soccer from his father, Dondinho, who was
a decent center forward until his career was halted by a fractured leg.
Pelé began playing soccer for a local minor-league club when
he was a teenager. When he wasn't playing soccer he shined shoes for pennies.
He was discovered at the age of 11 by one of the country's premier players,
Waldemar de Brito. When Brito brought Pelé to Sao Paulo he declared
to the disbelieving directors of the professional team in Santos, "This
boy will be the greatest soccer player in the world."
He was right! Pelé's impact was immediate! On his first appearance
for the team, against Corinthians F.C., he scored a goal right away. He
was only 16.
Pelé went on to play in four World Cups with Brazil's National
Team. At the 1958 World Cup in Sweden -- one he nearly missed because of
a knee injury -- Pelé stunned the world scoring six goals, including
two in the championship game to help Brazil win its first World Cup 5-2
over Sweden. He was only 17 years-old, but a legend was born.