Pele Net Worth

Biography of Pele

Edson Arantis do Nascimento, known as Pele, is a football player and a true legend in the world of sports. The man is the idol of millions of football fans around the world. All because he received the world title three times. At the end of 2016, this record was never broken. Pele played for the Santos and New York Cosmos teams. According to two influential sports organizations, Pele is considered the best athlete of the 20th century.

Football legend Pele


Pele was born on October 23, 1940 in the Brazilian town of Tres Coracoins. His father at that time played football professionally, but due to an accident that occurred at the match, he was forced to leave the big sport. To feed his family, the man got a job as an orderly at a local hospital, but at the same time he did not forget about his son. It was he who taught Pele the basic football skills.

The great football player Pele as a child

Already at school age, Pele significantly surpassed his peers in ball control. However, not at all thanks to regular training – the young man devoted very little time to honing his skills, as he was forced to earn extra money as a shoe shiner. Every time he saw the ball, his eyes began to burn, and his legs began to do crazy tricks that fascinated people passing by. At the age of 7, the boy impressed the coach of the local youth team and got into the number of juniors.

Football career

Being among the novice footballers, the boy was not at a loss, but, on the contrary, showed character, thereby earning a place as an attacker. A few years later, the team was headed by coach Valdemar de Brito, who forever changed Pele’s life. It was he who told his friends from the Santos club about an extraordinary boy who grasps everything on the fly. Thanks to this, already at the age of 15, the young man signed his first contract and began to play in the main team of Santos. For the guy, as, indeed, for the football club, a new era has begun.

A year later, the boy was already earning much more than his father, despite his age, being the main breadwinner in the family. Thanks to his technique and performance, he became the main striker. The first serious test for a promising footballer is the match against the strong Argentine team Corinthians. When the game began, no one could have imagined that an unknown boy would be able to score 2 goals and thus allow his team to win. As a result, in 1956, FC Santos deservedly received the championship cup.

Pele at the 1962 World Cup

Pele delighted his fans at the World Championships in 1958, 1962 and 1970. In every match, the guy played a key role. Despite the fact that all the players trained according to the same methodology, no one managed to surpass Pele. During his 19 years at Santos FC, he managed to score over 1,000 goals (namely, 1,091) and play the same number of matches (1,116). The Brazilians considered him a true hero and a symbol of the country, who brought football to a completely different level. With his participation, the Brazilian national team has become a professional team that can compete with the best football clubs in the world.

Pele’s best goals

Over the years, the football player took every training session seriously and observed discipline, unlike, for example, Diego Maradona. In the 1970s, he decided to take a break, after which he intended to leave his beloved sport forever. The last time as the main striker of the Brazilian national team, Pelé played in 1974. This event disappointed the football player’s loyal fans, but in 1975, unexpectedly for everyone, the man signed a contract with the New York Cosmos Football Club.

Since 1975, Pele has played for the American FC Cosmos.

There were two reasons for this. Evil tongues say that money problems played a decisive role due to Pele’s dishonest financial advisers, but I want to believe that the main role for the greatest football player was played by the possibility of popularizing football in the USA, because “European football”, or, as the Americans call it, “soccer”, at that time was not very common in the New World. And indeed – at the matches with the participation of Pele, American stadiums were packed to capacity, the number of visitors exceeded the usual ten times.

And in 2012, Pele became the honorary president of FC Cosmos

farewell match

On the first day of October 1977, an unprecedented event took place in the world of football: two significant teams for Pelé came out on the field of the New York Giants Stadium: native Santos and Cosmos. The audience wondered – which side will Pele choose? But the football legend decided to do it his own way: in the first half he played for Cosmos, in the second – for Santos. It was at the gates of his native club, with which he played for 18 years, that Pele scored the last goal in his career, the 1281st goal.

Pele’s farewell match, Cosmos – Santos, October 1, 1977

Say goodbye More than 77 thousand spectators came to the king of football, among whom were the legendary heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, Mick Jagger, Robert Redford, world football stars …

Pele retired at 37

When the final whistle blew, the sky over the stadium darkened and raindrops fell on the heads of the players and fans. Pele himself, forgetting about the ceremonial inherent in football matches, burst into tears in the arms of his friends.

Football was more than life for Pele

The Pele Phenomenon

The best sports experts are still puzzling over the mystery: how a young man from the wilderness, without football academies, regular training under the supervision of professionals, managed to achieve such phenomenal results. As a result, everyone came to the unanimous opinion that the football player had unique physical data, but most importantly, he loved this sport with all his heart. At a time when his peers had fun and had fun, he practiced tricks and punches.

Frame from the film “Flight to Victory”

In addition, experts noted that Pele managed to develop amazing peripheral vision, and therefore saw much more than other players. Everyone admired his phenomenal reaction speed and ability to analyze the situation and choose the most correct decision in a matter of seconds, relentless high-speed training, practicing shots from both legs, innate “scoring instinct” … Pele himself spoke of his success like this: “Football is not” star” game, but a team one. Without common efforts, victory in football is impossible.”

Career after leaving big football

After leaving the big sport, Pele signed a contract with the Pepsi Corporation and began to work with novice teenage football players. In his free time, he studied grammar at an ordinary high school. After graduating, Pele did not stop there, so he entered the New York Institute and eventually received a diploma in economics.

Pele soon attracted the attention of directors. On his account there were more than 50 different films, including documentaries. In most cases, the man performed with a cameo – he played himself. Significant projects for all fans of the football player have become such films as “King Pele”, “The Price of Victory”, “True Brazil”, “This is Pele”, “Golden Team”, “Coach”, “Pele Forever”, “The Passion of Martins”, ” Puskas Hungary”… and this is not the whole list. In 1981, the military drama Victory was released, where Pele appeared along with Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine. The film tells about a prison camp where a strong football team is being created. And in 1986, Rick King made the football player the key character in the drama Precise Kick.

Pele and Ronaldo in ads

In the 2000s, the Brazilian government offered Pele the post of Minister of Youth and Sports. It was thanks to him that a law was passed that practically freed football from corruption. In parallel with this, he became an official Goodwill Ambassador and tried his best to popularize a healthy lifestyle. Also, the man can boast of his own brand – the famous coffee brand “Cafe Pele”.

Pele was the minister of sports in Brazil

In 2016, the footballer starred in the biographical drama Pele: The Birth of a Legend, which introduces viewers to the early years, grueling training and a long road to fame as a famous footballer.

Pele in Russia: visiting the FC Krasnodar Academy

Pele’s personal life

At one time, Pele admitted to reporters that he received his first sexual experience at the age of 14 with a man much older than him. However, at that time in Brazil it was commonplace. The football player is not at all ashamed of his act and says that such contacts are just a new experience that does not predetermine further orientation.

Young Pele: the first time down the aisle

In 1966, he legalized his relationship with a girl named Rosemary. The couple lived together for a long 16 years, and then divorced. During the marriage, the football player became a dad three times. He had two daughters: Kelly (1967) and Jennifer (1978), as well as a son, Edson (1970), who later followed in his father’s footsteps and also played for Santos. He defended the gates of the football club, but, alas, he could not reach the heights of his father, as he was convicted of drugs for 33 years in prison.

Pele and his son Edson

In 1978, shortly after Pele’s final match, the couple separated. In 1980, Pele met with Maria Menegel, later known as the singer Shusha.

Pele and his passion Shusha

The second wife of the football player was the psychologist Assyria Seixas. They officially legalized the relationship in 1994. During the marriage, the loving couple had two opposite-sex twins, Joshua and Celeste. The football player often cheated on his wife (he even has two illegitimate children from different girls: Flavia Cristina Kurz de Carvalho and Sandra), and therefore the divorce was inevitable. They ended their relationship completely in 2008.

Pele and Assyria Seixas

Pele’s new darling is 50-year-old Japanese Maria Aoki, an entrepreneur from Brazil. They met back in the mid-80s, but then, to the great regret of the football player, both were not free. They were reminded of their past feelings by a chance meeting in an elevator in 2010, and since then they have not parted. In July 2016, 75-year-old Pele attended the wedding ceremony for the third time as a groom. “He scored a hat-trick,” joked the fans of the recognized football king.

Pele’s third wife – Maria Aoki

Pele now

In 2024, Pele underwent hip surgery. According to, the recovery process did not go according to plan, which is why the Brazilian footballer was practically unable to move. The son of footballer Edinho said that his father does not want to go out and leads an almost reclusive lifestyle. In March 2024, 80-year-old Pele was vaccinated against the coronavirus. What vaccine the athlete was vaccinated with, he did not specify, but gave parting words to his subscribers:

Today is an unforgettable day – I got vaccinated! The pandemic is not over yet. We must be disciplined to save lives, because so far many people have not been vaccinated. Keep washing your hands and stay at home if possible.

In 2024, a documentary about the football player was released on Netflix. The directors tried to show in the film how Edsone Arantes do Nascimento turned from a rising football star into a national hero.

Trailer of the movie “Pele”

On August 31, 2024, Pele was hospitalized. During a routine examination, a colon tumor was found in him. The neoplasm was safely removed on September 4, already on September 6, Pele thanked the doctors for their help and reassured subscribers. A couple of weeks later, his daughter said that her father was feeling well and was starting to walk a little – after the operation, he moved in a special chair.

Pele had to undergo surgery to remove a tumor from her colon