Sunday, January 1, 2006
Pele: Stop the 'baby-talk', I'm more Thomas Edison
BERLIN, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Pele was so angry with a school classmate who dreamed up his nickname that he punched him, the soccer great recalled on Sunday.
'Pele isn't my real name,' the Brazilian told the German
newspaper Bild am Sonntag in an interview. 'My name is Edson. I
didn't come up with Pele myself. I didn't want the name. Pele
sounds like baby-talk in Portuguese. Edson sounds like Thomas
Edison, the man who invented the light bulb.
'But a classmate wanted to anger me with the name Pele. I
flipped out when he called me that. I punched him....I was
actually a good student and wouldn't hurt a fly. But for the
punch I got suspended from school for two days.'
Pele, now 65, began life as Edson Arantes do Nascimento and
remains unsurpassed as the world's greatest player. He won the
World Cup with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
He told the newspaper Brazil were top contenders to win the
World Cup in Germany starting on June 9 but said favourites
never had an easy task.
'We're the clear favourites but favourites have often
failed,' he said. 'Whether it's Brazil, Spain or England --
there seems to be a special curse on them. That's why we have to
be ready, especially when it comes to hosts Germany.'