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Edson Arantes do Nascimento (23 October 1940 – 29 December 2022), known as Pelé, was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time.
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- The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.
- A penalty is a cowardly way to score.
- I was born for soccer, just as Beethoven was born for music.
- Quoted in Parton Keese, The measure of greatness (1980)
- Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pelé. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player, but how to be like a man.
- Quoted in "SI Flashback: Soccer's greatest genius" Sports Illustrated, (1 June 1999)
- When I was a professional footballer at Santos [where he played from 1956-74] there was a lot of time hanging around team hotels doing nothing. My way of passing the time was writing songs and strumming my guitar [...] I have written more than 500 songs. Sometimes I just write the lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics come with a melody. Even now, wherever I go I always have my little tape recorder - and tape everything that comes into my head. All my homes have guitars.
- [On his unpublicized work as a songwriter.] I didn't want the public to make the comparison between Pele the composer and Pele the footballer. That would have been a huge injustice - in football my talent was a gift from God, music was just for fun.'
- Success is not an accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.
- Bobby Moore — he defended like a lord. Let me tell you about this man. When I played, I would face up to a defender, I would beat him with my eyes, send him the wrong way; I would look one way and then go the other. Defenders would just kick me in frustration. They would foul me because they couldn't stop me, or because I would confuse them with my movement. I would move my eyes, my legs or my body, but not always the ball. They would follow my move, but not Bobby, not ever. He would watch the ball, he would ignore my eyes and my movement and then, when he was ready and his balance was right, he would take the ball, always hard, always fair. He was a gentleman and an incredible footballer.
- Interviewed by Lee Clayton, "Welcome into Pelé's World" in Daily Mail [England] (27 May 2006)
Quotes about Pelé
- Pelé is one of the few who contradicted my theory [...] Instead of 15 minutes of fame, he will have 15 centuries.