Edson Arantes do Nascimento (name given as Edison on birth certificate, born 21 October 1940 (however, Pele himself claims that he was born on 23 October) ), known by his nickname Pele, is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the best football players of all time. In 1999, he was voted Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics. In the same year French weekly magazine France-Football consulted their former "Ballon D'Or" winners to elect the Football Player of the Century. Pele came in first position. In 1999 the International Olympic Committee named Pele the "Athlete of the Century". In his career he scored 760 official goals, 541 in league championships, making him the top scorer of all time. In total Pele scored 1281 goals in 1363 games.
In his native Brazil, Pele is hailed as a national hero. He is known for his accomplishments and contributions to the game of football. He is also acknowledged for his vocal support of policies to improve the social conditions of the poor (when he scored his 1,000th goal he dedicated it to the poor children of Brazil). During his career, he became known as "The King of Football" (O Rei do Futebol), "The King Pele" (O Rei Pele) or simply "The King" (O Rei).
March 14th, 2011
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