Pele’s Real Name: Unveiling the Legend

Pele's real name
pele’s real name

In a somber turn of events, the football world recently bid farewell to one of its true legends. Pele, the iconic Brazilian footballer, passed away at the age of 82, leaving behind a legacy that transcends the boundaries of the beautiful game. As we remember the King of Football, it’s fitting to explore a lesser-known aspect of his identity – his real name, Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

Early Life and Beginnings

Born on October 23, 1940, in Brazil, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, began his football journey at a young age. His remarkable talent quickly set him apart, and at the age of 17, he achieved what no one had before – becoming the youngest player to win a World Cup.

A Summary of Pele’s Biography Stats

Date of birth/Age                   Oct 23, 1940
Place of birth Brazil Três Corações
Citizenship Brazil Brazil
Date of death 29.12.2022 (82)
Position Centre-Forward
Height 1.70 m
Former International BrazilBrazil
Caps/Goals 92 / 77

Discover more about Pele’s Early life here.

Pele’s Real Name

Behind the illustrious name “Pele” lies a childhood story that shaped the football icon. According to his uncle Jorge, young Edson was initially placed in goal to give his opponents a chance. However, Pele’s prowess as a striker was too undeniable, and soon the nickname “Bile” emerged. Eventually, this evolved into the moniker we all know today – Pele.

The Unwanted Nickname

Despite the fame associated with the name Pele, the football legend admitted to disliking the nickname. He took pride in his given name, “Edson,” inspired by the inventor Thomas Edison. An interesting twist to the tale was Pele’s physical altercation with a schoolmate who coined the nickname, resulting in a two-day suspension. However, Pele’s perspective changed when he discovered that “Pele” meant “miracle” in Hebrew.

Pele’s Achievements

Pele’s career is studded with achievements that solidify his place as one of the greatest footballers in history. He stands as the only player to win three World Cups (1958, 1962, and 1970), an accomplishment that remains unparalleled. His impact on the sport during his prime is immeasurable.

Here is a summary of Pele’s all world cup game stats.


Year Matches played Goals Assists Yellow Red
1970 6 4 0 0
1966 2 1 0 0
1962 2 1 0 0
1958 4 6 0 0

Follow this link for more about Pele’s football titles, awards and achievements. 

Legacy and Impact

Reflecting on his legacy, Pele once said, “Over the years, I have learned to live with two people in my heart. One is Edson, who has fun with his friends and family; the other is the football player Pele.” This duality encapsulates the impact he had both on and off the field. Pele’s influence extends beyond football, earning him international recognition, including the International Peace Award and the title of Athlete of the Century.


As we unveil the story behind Pele’s real name, we celebrate the life of a true sporting legend. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to the world as Pele, leaves behind a legacy that will forever echo in the cheers of football fans worldwide. His journey, marked by triumphs and challenges, is a testament to the enduring power of the beautiful game.

You might also be interested in reading more about our content and other Brazilian legends who made history below;

Football Legend Ronaldinho | Garrincha: The Brazilian GOAT | RicharlisonMost assists in a game

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