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Pele actually didn't like his nickname and wanted to be known by his real name

Daniel Marland

Published 
| Last updated 

Pele actually didn't like his nickname and wanted to be known by his real name

Pele wasn't the biggest fan of his nickname and instead wanted to be known by his real name early in his career.

The Brazil icon, who died aged 82 on Thursday, is one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet and regarded as one of the greatest footballers to ever live.

He is known to the world by his mononym of Pele, but it isn't the three-time World Cup winner's actual name.

Shockingly, Pele said he'd have rather achieved superstardom with his real name.

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His official name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, as read out in 2013 when he received the Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur.

It's similar to the name of American inventor Thomas Edison, who was the brains behind movie cameras, photographs and the lightbulb.

Pele appreciated his work and called Edison 'important' during an interview with Tuttosport. He joked Edison's contributions deserve to be remembered more than his as Pele.

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"I had a happy childhood. My name is Edson, then they started calling me Pele," the former Santos man admitted.

"I didn't like it, I started arguing with everyone. I was a Thomas Edison fan. What is Pele? Thomas Edison is important!"

Pele's real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Pele's real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Several superstars paid tribute to Pele following the news of his death. Among them were Cristiano Ronaldo, who said: "My deep condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

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"A mere 'goodbye' to the eternal King Pele will never be enough to express the pain that the entire football world is currently embracing. An inspiration to so many millions, a reference yesterday, today and forever.

"The love you always showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared even from distance.

Pele's death has rocked the footballing world. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Pele's death has rocked the footballing world. (Image Credit: Alamy)

"He will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in each and every one of us football lovers. Rest in peace King Pele."

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Ronaldo had recently broken Pele's international goal-scoring record. Lionel Messi also paid his respects with a message of: "Rest in peace, Pele."

Current Brazil winger Neymar said: "Before Pele, 10 was just a number, I’ve read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, though beautiful, is incomplete. I would say, before Pele football was just a sport. Pele has changed it all. He turned football into art, into entertainment.

He gave voice to the poor, to black people and especially: He gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King!

"He's gone but his magic remains. Pele is FOREVER!!"

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Pele, Brazil

Daniel Marland
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