People think he was the best football player ever, and at his peak, he was the highest-paid athlete in the world. When he died at age 82 after a short battle with colon cancer, Pelé’s net worth included millions of dollars from endorsements. He even paid a lot of money to tie his shoes, but more later.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in Três Coraces, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on October 23, 1940. He got the nickname “Pelé” because he mispronounced the name of a goalkeeper who played for Vasco de Gama when he was young. When Pelé was a child, his family was so poor that they couldn’t afford a football. Instead, Pelé would practice with a grapefruit or socks stuffed with newspapers. His father was his first coach, and a group of friends from his neighborhood who called themselves “the shoeless ones” was on his first football team. He became one of the most influential sportspeople in the 20th century. He would reach the fame and wealth that few athletes ever get.
Pele Net Worth
At his death, Pelé had a net worth of $100 million. He was a well-known and loved Brazilian football player who was known all over the world. Pelé died at the age of 82 on December 29, 2022. Pelé is one of the most famous people of the 20th century. He is widely thought to be the best soccer player of all time. At his best, he made more money than any other athlete. Pelé’s endorsements with companies, especially Puma, kept him making tens of millions of dollars for decades after he stopped playing soccer.
Pelé holds a number of important records, such as the most goals scored in the top league (541). He has scored 1297 goals in all of his games. Pelé is a national hero in his home country of Brazil, and with 77 goals, he is the country’s all-time top scorer. After he retired, Pelé became a football ambassador worldwide and a political activist who worked to help poor people in Brazil.
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Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in Três Coraces, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on October 23, 1940. Pelé was born into a family of football players. His father, Dondinho, was a professional player. Edson grew up with two other brothers and sisters. He was named after the inventor Thomas Edison (minus the “i”).
He got the nickname “Pelé” because he once mispronounced the name of Bilé, a goalkeeper who played for Vasco de Gama when he was a child. As a joke, his friends kept calling him Pelé, and the name stuck. In reality, “Pelé” doesn’t mean anything in Portuguese or any other language.
Pelé grew up in Bauru, Sao Paulo, in a low-income family that barely got by. Even though he had to work a lot to support his family, Pelé started learning how to play football at a young age. His father taught him how to do different things, but he played with a grapefruit instead because his family couldn’t afford a soccer ball. As Pelé got older, he played for a few youth teams in Brazil and was very good at indoor football (futsal).
Pelé’s career began with Santos FC when he was 15 and impressed the coach with how good he was. Then, in 1956, he signed a contract. That same year, he played his first professional game and scored. By the time he was 16, he was the top scorer in Brazil. He was quickly picked up by the Brazilian national team and played at the World Cups in 1958 and 1962.
Even though many big teams wanted to sign the young player, Pelé stayed close to Santos and Brazil. His team kept getting better and better. In 1962 and 1963, they won the Intercontinental Cup and the Copa Libertadores. In 1969, the two sides in the Nigerian Civil War agreed to stop fighting for 48 hours so that they could watch Pelé play soccer at a stadium in Lagos.
Even though Inter Milan and Real Madrid tried to get Pelé to play for them, he never did. After the 1974 season, he signed with the New York Cosmos. Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto were two other soccer stars who joined the Cosmos after he did. In a sense, Pelé was the reason why legends like George Best, Johan Cruyff, and Bobby Moore came to America to play soccer. He also managed to get many Americans interested in soccer for the first time. In 1977, he got more than 62,000 people to come to a Cosmos game at Giant Stadium.
Pelé’s international career got off to a good start when he scored two goals in the final against Sweden to win the 1958 World Cup. He also helped Brazil win the World Cup in 1962, even though he was hurt for almost the whole tournament and couldn’t play. After a disappointing World Cup in 1966, Pelé returned in 1970 and won it for the last time.
Since leaving sports, Pelé has been known for his work as an ambassador. In 1992, the United Nations put him in charge of ecology and the environment. He was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1994.
Most of Pelé’s problems happened after he stopped playing pro football. In 2001, the ex-football player was accused of taking $700,000 from UNICEF as part of a corruption scheme. In 1994, he wasn’t allowed to go to the FIFA World Cup draw in Las Vegas. This was mostly because of his fight with Joao Havelange, President of FIFA at the time.
In 2016, Pelé sued Samsung Electronics for $30 million, saying that the company had lied about his endorsements and violated his right to be famous. The claim started with a Samsung ad from 2015 that showed a man who looks a lot like Pelé and another scene that showed the player’s signature bicycle kick.
It was said that Pelé sold his home in the Hamptons for $2.85 million in 2018. He had bought the house before for $156,000 in 1979. Over the years, Pelé added to the house and turned it into a 3500 square-foot mansion. Having access to the beach is also a big plus. At age 77, Pelé didn’t use the house because he was already retired in his home country of Brazil.
Pelé had three children with his wife Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi. He married her in 1966. In 1982, he split up with his first wife and started dating a Brazilian TV host named Xuxa. She was 17 when they began dating. Assyria Lemos Seixas, a psychologist, became his second wife in 1994. Before they split up in 2008, he had two more children with Seixas.
Pelé said he would marry Marcia Aoki, a Japanese-Brazilian woman when he was 73. They were together for a long time before getting married in 2016. Pelé has also had a number of children from different women over the years.
Pelé passed away on December 29, 2022. He was 82 years old and had been sick for a long time.
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.