Edson Arantes do Nascimento

Essay by Dansgurl09High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2002

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Edson Arantes do Nascimento, more widely admired by the world as "Peléé", was born on October 23, 1940, in a small village in Brasil called Trêês Coraççõões in the Brasilian state of Minas Gerais. He was baptized in the municipal church called Igreja da Sagrada Famíília de Jesus, Maria e Joséé. His father, Joãão Ramos do Nascimento, or Dondinho, as he was known in the soccer world, was also a professional player. He was well-known as one of the best-heading players in his time. He was a center forward for Fluminense until an injury kept him from playing professional division one soccer. His mother Celeste gave Peléé and the rest of his family attention to their needs and a lot of love. When he was a child, Peléé and his family moved to Baurúú, in the interior of the Brasilian state of Sãão Paulo, where he learned to master the art of futebol.

One day he himself confessed that he "tinha trêês coraççõões [had three hearts]", referring to the city where he was born, Trêês Coraççõões, and to Baurúú and Santos.

Peléé's Career

Peléé's first job was shining shoes. But he had always dreamed of playing soccer.

Peléé's soccer career started early. After playing in a few amateur teams like Baquinho and Sete Setembro, at the age of 11, while playing for an uncoached team called Ameriquinha, he was discovered by a former Brasilian World Cup player named Waldemar de Brito. De Brito recognized Peléé's skills and invited him to join the team he was organizing (Clube Atléético Baurúú?). When Peléé was fifteen, in 1956, de Brito took him to the city of Sãão Paulo to try out for the professional club called Santos Futebol Clube (SFC). That day, de Brito told the team directors that "This boy will be...