Legendary soccer great Pelé (1940-) was born in Edson Arantes do Nacimiento in Tres Coracoes, Brazil. The world's most famous inside left forward scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games and holds every major scoring record in Brazil.
"I was born for soccer, just as Beethoven was born for music," he said and has been called Perola Negra (Black Pearl) by some of his countrymen.
The impoverished young Pelé began his professional career with Santos Football Club at age 15. Two years later, in 1958, he led the Brazilian National Team to victory in the World Cup.
"Nobody in the game had more fun that I did when I became a professional," he admitted. "Coaches and team mates support me. No one can do things alone."
The high scorer and master at ball handling again led his team to World Cup victory in 1962 and 1970. "Football is like a religion to me. I worship the ball, and treat it like a god," he once explained. "Too many players think of a football as something to kick. They should be taught to caress it and to treat it like a precious gem."