By Martin Cloake
As we previously mentioned, today marks 58 years since Pele, who many still consider the greatest footballer to ever play the game, made his international debut for Brazil.
While his goal-laden story has been played out many times over the years, here are five facts you may not have known about Senhor Edson Arantes do Nascimento.
1. Pele was named after American inventor Thomas Edison, who invented, among other things, the motion picture camera and the electric light bulb. Whoever first recognised his football talent can certainly be said to have had a ‘light bulb moment’. Ha!
2. In 1961, the Brazilian government named Pelé a national treasure to prevent him being transferred out of the country.
3. At the end of his career, Pelé played for US club New York Cosmos in the short-lived NASL. So many opponents wanted to swap shirts with him the Cosmos ended up giving each opponent a shirt after games.
4. During his career, Pelé scored 92 hat-tricks.
5. Pelé is name-checked in Pras and Mya’s 1998 rap classic ‘Ghetto Supastar’:
“Kick your balls like Pelé, peck ‘em doing ballet
“Peak like Dante, broader than Broadway.”
Feel free to take this new knowledge forth and spread it all over the land!