10 Inspiring Quotes by Pelé

Pelé, considered the best soccer player of all time, has died today at age 82. There’s nothing much to say about a celebrity who’s known worldwide and that has elevated Brazil, soccer, and his hometown team of Santos to the level of luxury brands. Those, like me, who had a chance to watch Pelé play (at least on live television) are very lucky, as they had the unique experience of seeing a real superhero at his best perfomances. Pelé was a genius. This can be translated as a combination of talent (genetics) and preparation (exercising, discipline, effort, persistence). The lesson here is that even those who do not have an overdeveloped inborn talent in the field they become professionals can improve hugely if they decide to focus on hard work and practice.

Here are 10 quotes I collected, summarising some of Pelé’s thoughts and perspectives:

1. If you don’t give education to people, it is easy to manipulate them.

2. I sometimes lie awake at night and wonder why I am still so popular and, to be honest, I don’t know.

3. 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. 


4. 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.

5. Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

6. The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.

7. If you are first you are first. If you are second, you are nothing.

8. Everything is practice.

9. The ambition should always be to play an elegant game.

10. 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

Do you know any other quotes by Pelé you would like to add to this list? Use the comments section below, please.

Jorge Sette

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