The results were not easy for Brazil, which participated in all five editions of the World Cup football tournament.
After football, Brazil hosted the fourth World Cup in 1950. He also built a 2 lakh capacity stadium to make the tournament grand. At that time, Brazil wanted to win the title. But after losing to Uruguay in the decisive match, Brazil’s dream of winning the title could not be fulfilled.
In the fifth edition held in Switzerland in 1954, Brazil had to be eliminated from the quarter-finals. On June 7, 1957, the player nicknamed Pele made his debut for the national team at the age of 16 in a match against Argentina.
After scoring a goal in his debut game, Pele brought hope to Brazilian football. Not only Pele but also Brazil did not look back after scoring in his debut game. Pele, who created a stir by making Brazil the world champion, was later called the greatest footballer of the century.
Pele’s real name is Edson Arante do Nascimento. He was born on October 23, 1940 in Tres Corsonis, Brazil. Born in a poor family, Pele spent his childhood in poverty.
He used to play bush ball with his bare feet as a child. He learned the art of football from the streets. At the age of 16, he joined the Brazilian national team and became the youngest player in the world to play in the World Cup at the age of 17.
After the 1958 World Cup, he was no longer Edson Arante do Nascimento, he was recognized by Pele. Playing barefoot in Brazilian (Portuguese) is called peledas. His childhood was spent playing like this.
However, after that, Pele’s speech was not just a name, but respect, love and affection were also intertwined. This name is filled with the story of suffering, suffering and poverty of that great player. And there is the inspiring episode of his resolve and continuous sadhana.
Football, Brazil and Pele are synonymous with each other. Brazil and Pelebegar discussion of modern football is impossible. The only country to be able to play in every edition of the World Cup, Brazil had never won a World Cup title before the rise of Pele.
Brazil became world champions for the first time after playing Pele in the 1958 World Cup. Pele scored 6 goals in this World Cup showing his amazing game. After he scored a hat-trick in the semi-final against France, Brazil won 5-2 and entered the final.
In the final too, Pell played a great game. Pele scored 2 goals in the final against Sweden. Brazil won the match 5-2 and became world champions for the first time. Since this World Cup, he has become famous in world football and over time he has been called the magician of football.
Pele’s form was similar in the seventh edition of the World Cup held in Chile in 1962. He scored in the first match against Mexico in the group stage. He could not score in other matches.
But his influence on the team was the same. In the final, Brazil defeated Czechoslovakia 3-1 and won the title for the second time in a row. No country has won the title for the second time in a row since 1962.
In the World Cup held in England in 1966, the performance of Pele and the Brazilian team was not good. Brazil was eliminated from the group stage. However, Pele managed to score against Bulgaria.
After a forgettable performance in 1966, Brazil wanted to make the 1970 World Cup memorable. That’s what happened. Brazil got off to a great start by beating Czechoslovakia 4-1 in the first match of the World Cup held in Mexico. Pele managed to score in that match.
Brazil, who won the group, defeated Peru in the quarter-finals and Uruguay in the semi-finals to reach the finals. Brazil won the title for the third time after defeating Italy 4-1 in the final.
In the final, Pele scored the opening goal to give Brazil the lead. Pele scored 4 goals in that World Cup. Pele is the only player to date to have been part of the team that won the world championship three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
He was named the best player of the World Cup twice. In the 14 matches played in the World Cup, 12 goals came from Pele’s feet.
In his 22-year long active professional football career, he scored 1,281 goals in a total of 1,363 matches. Pele, who is considered to be the only player to score more than 1,000 goals, played only for the Brazilian club Santos throughout his life.
He has scored 77 goals in the 91 games played by the Brazilian jersey. After Pelé’s retirement, Brazil had to wait 24 years until the 1994 World Cup to win the World Cup for the fourth time.
Interesting facts about Pele
In the 1970 World Cup against England, one of Pele’s shots was so powerful that England’s then goalkeeper Gordon Banks broke his arm in 9 places while trying to stop it.
Pele was playing in Hamburg, West Germany in 1963. German player Schulz was ‘covering’ him. How long could he have covered Khappis Pele to score in the blink of an eye?
With little carelessness from Schulz, Pele’s shot from 20 yards went straight inside the post. “I didn’t see when the ball came out of Pele’s foot,” German goalkeeper Fahrein commented on the goal.
Once in 1961, in a match in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pele tricked 9 opponents and scored a miraculous goal against the opposing club.
Pele’s autobiography ‘My Life and the Beautiful Game’ also has a strange connection.
By the time he reached the publisher’s office to sign the first edition of the book, thousands of his fans had already gathered there. Everyone who flocked to see him wanted to take some of Pele’s things as souvenirs.
Those fans tore Pele’s clothes to shreds. He did not even have spare parts for his car because he did not get clothes. And, on that day, Pele walked home ‘almost barefoot’.
In 1961, Pele was in Peru while playing a friendly match against Brazilian club Santos. There too, he performed exceptionally well and scored 4 goals before half time.
He did not enter the field after the interval, thinking that ‘today is over’. He was replaced by another player. However, the spectators did not allow the match to continue, they entered the field and started protesting.
Finally, the referee was forced to ask the Santos club to send Pele back to the field to quell the crowd’s excitement and protest and allow the game to continue. The game remained at a standstill after half-time, until Pele, who had gone for a shower, came out fully dressed in football gear and entered the field.
Pele was so popular that Queen Elizabeth of England forgot her dignity when she met him. The then Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi waited for more than 3 hours at Tehran International Airport just to meet him.
After retiring from the national team, Pele was on his way to play for America’s Cosmos Club when he reached Kolkata, India, and there was a huge crowd there.
Thousands of fans spent more than half the night just to see and meet him. Fans lined up both at the airport and on the road in Kolkata for hours.
A universally accepted superstar
Pele is regarded as a national hero due to his achievements and contribution to football. FIFA has also officially appointed him as a football ambassador for the world.
He has been declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government. Pele was also known as the ‘King of Football’ during his playing career. The International Olympic Committee awarded him the title of athlete of the century.
His support for policies to improve the social condition of the poor is notable. When he scored a thousand goals, he dedicated them to the poor children of Brazil.
'People say Pele has no religion, no nationality or no caste,' Pele once said of himself, 'I am accepted everywhere.'
In the eyes of the world, he is still a football magician, the ‘Emperor without Sripech’ of football. His presence in every major event of world football is remembered and honored.
He is the undisputed idol of world football. That is why he is considered a football legend and is called Pele, the great Pele. He has also acted in a dozen films.
The 82-year-old Pele was hospitalized five years ago due to kidney problems. Now he is healthy. Pele is worth billions. He is an investor or partner of many national and multinational companies. And also ‘Brand Ambassador’ of many companies.
He is also running self-reliance-oriented welfare programs for millions of street children in his country, Brazil.
(Source: Different Agencies)