Before there was Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, there was a Brazilian soccer superstar known simply as Pelé, 75. The guy has done it all in the world of soccer and many critics of the sport will say that Pelé is the best who ever played the game. Here are 5 things to know about the most famous Brazilian athlete alive who will be lighting the torch during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics on August 5th.
1. Pelé is a winner.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Brazil, Pelé is a winner. As a forward on the national team, he helped bring the FIFA World Cup home 3 times to his country over the course of 3 decades of action.
2. Pelé is a movie star.
He starred in the 1980’s hit film Victory as a soccer player and soldier among other international movies. He has also had movies made about his spectacular life.
3. Pelé is the best.
The guy has won every soccer award, won every tournament and has scored more goals than any other player. While some may argue otherwise, true soccer experts say there is no one who will ever match his level of skill on a soccer field. He is the best that ever was or will be.
4. Pelé loved the bicycle kick.
It is a kick that he did not invent but certainly perfected and made famous. Pelé gets upside down and shoots the ball behind him during this extremely acrobatic feat. The kick always catches goalkeepers unaware as the ball soars by and into the net.
5. Pelé is a humanitarian.
After his years on the field, he has dedicated himself to philanthropic work and bettering the lives of his fellow Brazilians. He is active with the charity organization UNICEF and many other children’s organizations.
HollywoodLifers, who are you most excited to see at the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympics? Will you be watching for Pelé to light the big torch or are you more interested in the US athletes?