Sport

Pele wasn't a fan of his famous nickname

Brazilian football legend Pelé dies aged 82

One of the sport's biggest icons, Pele passed away yesterday (December 30) - and while footy fans recognise the Brazilian by his mononym, it turns out he was not a fan of the nickname.

The football legend who died aged 82 will be remembered as one of the sport's greatest-ever players that won the World Cup three times for his country of Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

While his nickname will certainly go down in the history books, the former Santos player expressed how he didn't like the name people came up for him that the world would later know him as when he became a football superstar.

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In fact, Pele wanted to be recognised by his full name - Edson Arantes do Nascimento - and was in 2013 his full name was read when awarded the Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur.

"I had a happy childhood. My name is Edson, then they started calling me Pele," he told Tuttosport.

Pele also noted how his name was similar to American inventor Thomas Edison who was "important" as he invented objects such as the light bulb and motion pictures.

"I didn't like it, I started arguing with everyone. I was a Thomas Edison fan. What is Pele? Thomas Edison is important!" he added

But where did Pele's nickname come from?

During a Sky Sports interview, Pele detailed the origins of how his nickname came to be: "In Portuguese, when you kick the ball with the foot we say 'Pe', and maybe I made some mistakes, I don't know, but my teammates started to say 'Pe-lé', more and more."

Similarly, he expressed how he "didn't like" the nickname.

"I didn't like it because my name was Edson, but it started and here I am. Anyway, my family and the ones [who] are close to me still call me Dico. That's what they call me at home."

Elsewhere, fellow footballers from Messi to Ronaldo and Neymar, have led tributes to Pele on social media after news of his passing.

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