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Pele turns 75 on October 23

Oct 27, 2015 Brazilian soccer legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele recently celebrated his 75th birthday.

From the 17-year-old sensation of the 1958 World Cup to the 29-year-old who helped Brazil win the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1970, Pele is a perfect role model for soccer players.

Pele, who played and scored in four successive World Cups, earned the respect and admiration of team mates and opponents for his extraordinary talent and exemplary sportsmanship on an off the pitch.

While explaining how he came about his nickname, Pele said:

I fight in college with the kids because ‘No, my name is Edson’, they called me ‘Pele’, I got two days suspended, then everybody at school, all the kids started calling me Pele. I hate that time, today I love, now I love, that gave to me a short name, easy to pronounce, in any language you can remember Pele because my name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, this is hard to remember you know, and then today I love Pele.”

Pele’s stellar career was a far cry from his humble beginnings. He played football made from rolled-up rags and sometimes a grapefruit as he honed his skills.

“My father used to say ‘men should be strong, men don’t cry’. Then I saw my father cry when Brazil lost the game (against Uruguay). I told (him) ‘father, don’t worry, I’m gonna win the World Cup for you’. I was nine to ten years old. Then eight years later I was in Sweden with Brazil, with the 17-year-olds and Brazil won the World Cup. That was a gift from God because I don’t know why I said, I promised my father.”

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