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Pelé began playing for Santos at age 15 and the Brazil national football team at 16.During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 19, being the only player ever to do so.), is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward.He is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time.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.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.
Pelé accredits indoor football for helping him think better on the spot.
In his autobiography, Pelé stated he had no idea what the name means, nor did his old friends.