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Pelé: “People love me”

Pelé finished his career with the Cosmos
Action Images

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the Brazilian legend spoke about fame and his expectations for the year’s World Cup and rev

Despite the level of his stardom, many football fans across the world don’t know that Pelé’s real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

"Very few people know. My father gave me Edson because of Thomas Edison, the engineer — the lights. I was very proud. They [my schoolmates] start to call me Pele, so I fought with everybody."

"In my family, when I was young, they called me Dico. Until now, my family, my sister my brother, my mother call me Dico."

Pelé was 9-years-old when he listened to the 1950 World Cup final on the radio. He hasn’t forgotten the pain that Brazil’s 2-1 defeat to Uruguay at the Maracanã caused him and his compatriots.

The 73-year-old would love to see a repeat of the same final, something that he describes as "an opportunity for revenge."

He doesn’t think that the path to the final will be an easy one, however.

"I think Germany has a very good team, young team, and then Spain. Spain is a team who plays together eight years, 10 years — same team. Very nice organized team. This will be difficult. But we must respect Italy. We must respect Uruguay, because Uruguay is there. Argentina is there."

Pelé won the World Cup with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and scored 77 goals in 92 games for the Selecão. He starred for Santos from 1956 until 1974 before finishing his career with New York Cosmos from 1975-77. He still keeps an apartment in Manhattan.

"Now people, they follow more, but not only Central Park, every place where I go — Broadway," he said before quickly adding with a smile: "This is good because people love me."


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