Pelé : The Autobiography

by Unknown
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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2007-05-08
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
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The legend. In his own words.From the poverty-stricken streets of Sao Paulo to an international icon and one of the most celebrated footballers of all time, Pele's life story is as extraordinary as it is enrapturing. With his trademark wit and deference, the legend draws us into a wonderful story lit by insight and humour and encompassing everything you ever wanted to know about the great man himself.From shining shoes for extra pennies at the Baru Athletic Club to triumph in several World Cups, the glory of being on top of the world -- and staying there -- is shared in what is undoubtedly one of the must-read autobiographies of the year. On top of his athletic achievements, Pele has also been a staunch campaigner for human rights and in particular the plight of street children in his home country, leading to an appointment as a UN Ambassador and an honorary knighthood from the British monarchy.By turns addictive, moving and enlightening, this is the ultimate story of the rise of a star and an amazing testimony to how even the lowliest of society's people can reach the dizzying heights of worldwide adoration and success.

Author Biography

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to the world as Pele, won the World Cup with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He scored nearly 1,300 goals in his professional career and is Brazil's record goalscorer with 97 goals. He lives in Brazil and the United States.


The Boy from Bauru 'The greatest goal I scored was a one-two with Celeste: we named him Edson Arantes do Nascimento: Pele' DONDINHO, PELE'S FATHER However long we may live, we never forget the time when we were young. Memory is like a film which we alone can watch. For me, childhood is the best part of that film: time and again my thoughts return to my experiences, the innocence and mischief of that time, and the dreams and nightmares too. I was born in Tres Coracoes in Minas Gerais, a state in the south-east of Brazil just to the north of Rio de Janeiro. It is an area very rich in minerals, especially gold -- the early Portuguese explorers were thrilled at the abundance and brilliance of that rich yellow mineral and settled there to exploit it. Among them was a farmer. He was a responsible man, a hard worker, and was dedicated to the land he'd acquired on the banks of the Rio Verde. He asked his superior for permission to build a chapel there, and permission was granted; when it was ready he named it the Holy Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The name he gave the chapel was in tribute to the three Sacred Hearts in which the farmer had such faith, and which in turn became the name of the place -- Tres Coracoes, the three hearts. Brazil, though, is a land of stories, and as you will discover throughout this book, a story in Brazil isn't worth telling unless there are alternative versions to call upon. And the three hearts are no different: some have it that the name refers to the love of three cowboys who were prevented from marrying three local girls; others hold that it is related to the fact that as the Rio Verde approaches the town it forms little curves like three little hearts. I'm sticking with the farmer, though -- it's the story I was brought up with, and one that has always appealed to me. The first records of the current town date from 1760, with the foundation of the chapel of the Sacred Hearts. But for some reason there was a problem with the land deeds, and the area on which the chapel was built was sold. The chapel itself was destroyed, and it wasn't until the end of the eighteenth century that a replacement was built, when a Captain Antonio Dias de Barros provided a new one. The then village of Rio Verde which was developing around it was established as a parish, and renamed Tres Coracoes do Rio Verde. In 1884, after a visit from Brazil's last emperor, Dom Pedro II, and his family, and the opening of a rail link to the city of Cruzeiro in Minas Gerais, Tres Coracoes became a town. Even though I only lived there a couple of years it remains a village in my memory, and whatever the legends that people spread about the name, there's one thing I feel sure of -- it feels completely natural to me, it makes complete sense, that I should have been born in a place called 'three hearts'. Looking back on my life for this book has revealed to me many occasions of confusion and uncertainty, but what has also become clear is an underlying coherence to my life, and I think it can be seen here too, for this name Tres Coracoes has always been an important signpost for me. I feel it above all in relation to my religion, because within it beat those three sacred hearts that are so beloved and revered by all of us who are Catholics. But I see it too in the other places that informed my upbringing and whatever I went on to achieve in the world -- in Bauru, deep in the middle of the state of Sao Paulo, where my family moved and where my love of football was born; and in Santos, along the coast from Rio, where I experienced such happiness as a player and won so many championships. The places where I was born, where I grew up and where I played football -- they have given me t

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