Last updated on December 20th, 2020
Pele, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, born 23 October 1940 is a retired Brazilian footballer. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). During the same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the IOC, and Time named him in their list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Here are some influential Pele quotes.
1. “Success isn’t determined by how many times you win, but by how you play the week after you lose.”
2. “Edson is the person that supports Pele. Edson is the base. Pele just comes and adds the face.”
3. “Pele doesn’t die. Pele will never die. Pele is going to go on for ever.”
4. “To be a striker you need to be in good shape.”
5. “Everything on earth is a game. A passing thing. We all end up dead. We all end up the same, don’t we?”
6. “If I pass away one day, I am happy because I tried to do my best. My sport allowed me to do so much because it’s the biggest sport in the world.”
7. “There is always someone out there getting better than you by training harder than you.”
8. “The head talks to the heart and the heart talks to the feet.”
9. “No individual can win a game by himself.”
10. “When you control the ball you control the score.”
11. “Most important is be a good man.”
12. “A friend is part of your family.”
13. “Courage can bring huge benefits to those who are prepared.”
14. “I always remember the games in which I score.”
15. “I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint.”
16. “Great teams are not made up of many well-rounded players. Great teams are made up of a variety of players, each having their own strengths.”
17. “Brazil’s always had great players, both at home and abroad, but we need to put all that talent together and mould a team out of it.”
18. “At 17, I already had responsibility because I took care of my family, but in the football I was young; I wasn’t experienced or the captain – I was just in the team.”
19. “I represent Brazil all over the world. Wherever I go I have to do my best, to not disappoint the Brazilian people. And that I’ve done.”
20. “You must respect people and work hard to be in shape. And I used to train very hard. When the others players went to the beach after training, I was there kicking the ball.”
21. Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.
22. Wherever you go, there are three icons that everyone knows: Jesus Christ, Pele and Coca-Cola.
23. Everything is practice.
24. If you don’t give education to people, it is easy to manipulate them.
25. When you are young, you do a lot of stupid things.
26. I am constantly being asked about individuals. The only way to win is as a team. Football is not about one or two or three star players.
27. Sport is something that is very inspirational for young people.
28. A penalty is a cowardly way to score.
29. If you are first you are first. If you are second, you are nothing.
30. The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.
31. “Everybody knows my life. I won a lot of tournaments and scored more than 1,000 goals, won three World Cups but I could not play in Olympic Games.”
32. “When you play against dirty players or very tough players, it’s easy to escape because you know what they’re going to do. But when the player is tough but intelligent, it’s much more difficult.”
33. “Over the years I’ve learnt to live with two persons in my heart. One is Edson, who has fun with his friends and family; the other is the football player Pele. I didn’t want the name. ‘Pele’ sounds like baby-talk in Portuguese.”
34. “A great player is a player who can do everything on the field. He can do assists, encourage his colleagues, give them confidence to go forward. It is someone who, when a team does not do well, becomes one of the leaders.”
35. “I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘born’ soccer player. Perhaps you are born with certain skills and talents, but quite frankly it seems impossible to me that one is actually born to be an ace soccer player.”
36. “Football is the only sport where you put people together, it doesn’t matter if you are rich, or poor, or black, or white. It is one nation. This is the beauty of football.”
37. “A team is not made up of isolated individuals. Always stay in the game. Don’t be passive. Football is a team game. No one plays alone. Success depends on your whole team being a single unit.”
38. “I think the kids always they look forward to be always the big stars. Not only football, any profession. They want to be the best, singer, they want to be the best political, only the stars. But I think sometime the life give you opportunity, and long to be a big star, but you don’t need to be a big star, you need to be beautiful, excellent man. Human being. This is the first.”
39. “I’ve come to accept that the life of a frontrunner is a hard one, that he will suffer more injuries than most men and that many of these injuries will not be accidental.”
40. “From my point of view, what’s beautiful in the sport is something you don’t need to know too much about tactics or anything to see. If you find something beautiful, you don’t need to be an expert to know it. It’s like ballet.”
41. “Football is the ultimate in team sport. And no individual can win a game by himself. Pelé is a famous name, but Pelé made his goals because another player passed to him at the proper time.”
42. “Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pelé. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player, but how to be like a man.”
43. “The reason the sport has grown so big, I think, is that it’s not only for rich people. It’s not just for big people—size doesn’t exclude people. Everyone can participate. That’s why it’s become so popular worldwide. You don’t need to have any special quality in particular to play.”
44. “I used to tease the other kids because I played better than them. Then my father said, Come here. Don’t do this with the kids, because God gave you the gift to play football. You didn’t do anything.”
45. “I was really proud that I was named after Thomas Edison and wanted to be called Edson. I thought Pele sounded horrible. It was a rubbish name. Edson sounded so much more serious and important.”