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13-Jul-2017 09:15

Ten months after signing professionally, the teenager was called up to the Brazil national team.

After the 1962 World Cup, wealthy European clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United tried to sign him, but the government of Brazil under President Jânio Quadros had declared Pelé an "official national treasure" the year before to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.

He made his senior team debut on 7 September 1956 at the age of 15 against Corinthians Santo Andre and had an impressive performance in a 7–1 victory, scoring the first goal in his prolific career during the match.

When the 1957 season started, Pelé was given a starting place in the first team and, at the age of 16, became the top scorer in the league.

Pelé's "electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals" made him a star around the world, and his teams toured internationally in order to take full advantage of his popularity.

Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football and has made many acting and commercial ventures.

At club level he is the record goalscorer for Santos, and led them to the 19 Copa Libertadores.In his later career, he played in a playmaking role behind offensive strikers.In Brazil, he is hailed as a national hero for his accomplishments in football and for his outspoken support of policies that improve the social conditions of the poor.Throughout his career and in his retirement, Pelé received several individual and team awards for his performance in the field, his record-breaking achievements, and legacy in the sport.Pelé was born on 23 October 1940, in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil, the son of Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born João Ramos do Nascimento) and Celeste Arantes. He received the nickname "Pelé" during his school days, when it is claimed he was given it because of his pronunciation of the name of his favorite player, local Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bilé, which he misspoke but the more he complained the more it stuck.

At club level he is the record goalscorer for Santos, and led them to the 19 Copa Libertadores.

In his later career, he played in a playmaking role behind offensive strikers.

In Brazil, he is hailed as a national hero for his accomplishments in football and for his outspoken support of policies that improve the social conditions of the poor.

Throughout his career and in his retirement, Pelé received several individual and team awards for his performance in the field, his record-breaking achievements, and legacy in the sport.

Pelé was born on 23 October 1940, in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil, the son of Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born João Ramos do Nascimento) and Celeste Arantes. He received the nickname "Pelé" during his school days, when it is claimed he was given it because of his pronunciation of the name of his favorite player, local Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bilé, which he misspoke but the more he complained the more it stuck.

In 2010, he was named the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos.