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My Life and the Beautiful Game: The Autobiography of Pele [Hardcover]

Pele , Robert L. Fish
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 1977
This is a book about a man who excelled in a game of soccer. Pele is a athlete best know throughout the world. He is the only three-time world champion in soccer. "I dedicate this book to all the people who have made this great game the Beautiful Game." - Pele

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Few athletes have captured the world's collective admiration and respect as Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Known affectionately to his family as Dico, but to the rest of us as Pele', his influence far exceeded his tremendous exploits on the soccer field. He is one of the most recognized people in the world.
This well-written, extremely detailed, and intriguing autobiography takes us deeply into Pele's world. He describes in great detail his impoverished youth in Bauru, his rapid ascent into the Brazilian National Team, his stellar years at Santos Football Club, and finally, his desire to bring soccer to the skeptical masses in North America. But throughout it all, we see his humility. "I only wanted to be as good as my father, Dodinho."
I had the opportunity to play soccer with a Brazilian who played with Pele' at Santos. My friend was very young at the time, and told me that Pele' treated him very well. "He was well-liked by everyone, and always helpful to his teammates. You never knew he was the best player in the world. He acted just like a regular guy."
Out of his many feats (playing in the World Cup final at the age of 17, the only three time winner of the World Cup, scoring almost 1300 goals), one stands out. Pele' is perhaps the only athlete to ever stop a war. During the Biafran Civil War in Nigeria, a three day truce was called to watch him play two exhibition games.
Pele' was declared a national treasure by his native Brazil. But for the millions of us who had the privilege to see him play, he was our treasure as well.
Thank you for the opportunity to review this excellent book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal gift for soccer fans, players, and coaches Feb. 24 2000
By Jean-Marc O'Connor - Published on Amazon.com
I first read this book when it first came out in paperback, and read it perhaps five more times in the intervening twenty years. Without being filled with a lot of braggadocio or self-congratulations, and with hardly any mention of political/social agendas [like books by most sports heroes] the book tells the stories of Pele's on-the-field exploits while also explaining the events that shaped his life.
Although his personal convictions are clear from vignettes about times in his life when he found himself praying, mourning, or bemoaning poor sportsmanship and unfair treatment in general, Pele does not use his autobiography to grind any axes. The book includes an almost goal-by-goal analysis of his career, as well as a snapshot of some unique "records" [such as, just how infrequently he ever scored of a bicycle kick], and a better-than-photographic memory of some of the most famous highlights of his career [his description of the build-up to the famous World Cup goal scored by Carlos Santos -- a defender -- off his assist makes the actual video footage seem passe].
For years I have wished that I had a copy of this book to give to each of the MVP's on teams I have coached at the high school and college level, and to deserving volunteers in youth programs, and to favorite colleagues. If you're a fan of even middling interest in soccer, or know someone who is, you should buy this book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good book about The Greatest of The Beautiful Game Oct. 5 2004
By goING_96815 - Published on Amazon.com
I was too young to see Pele while he still was an active footballer, but growing up in a football loving home I've been fed with the legend of this fantastic athlete. My Dad always told me about the greatness of Pele, and I always felt that I lost our "arguments" about whether "my generations" superstar Maradona or "his generations" star Pele actually was the Greatest One.

I bought this book to find out more about the legendary Pele. Wow, wasn't this a great book? When understanding what impact this man had on the beautiful game it's easy to see how he can be recognized as the Greatest. He wasn't only an extremely talented athlete; he was also a man with a wonderful heart and who had his morals in order. I'm sure you find a picture of Pele in the dictionary if you look up the word "sportsmanship".

I think this well written book is a worthy tribute to this great athlete. It tells us the this to-good-to-be-true motivational story about a man with an extreme talent that goes all the way from poverty thru a triumphant career all the way to the top of the beautiful game...and he do so with style!

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Jan. 2 2003
By R. Kaka - Published on Amazon.com
After reading some of the reviews posted online here, especially the ones that claimed the book had nothing in it about Pele's childhood and days before stardom, I bought this book. to my surprise this book starts with great detail from when Pele was born, it seems every single detail about his childhood, school, first club, everything is logged in. one may wonder whether a diary was kept, to give such accurate detail.
i am only 21 years old, but i get the feeling this will be one of the best books i will ever read.
The writting itself is fantastic, it is written in narrative form. (I, me, as though Pele is talking to us via the book) and i think thats what makes this book so good, reading what Pele has to say in his own words. I highly recomend this book it has Pele's history, everything, his humility, his love for the beautiful game.....just wonderful.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical May 27 2000
By Zahir N. Noormohamed - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful book about Pele's career and life; how from the "barrios" of Brazil to the greatest sporting stage in the world, the World Cup, Pele earned the title of the greatest soccer player of all time. The book covers Pele's triumphs as a 17 year old in the 1958 final to his dismay in 1966 and the grand finale victory in 1970. This is a well written thorough book that I purchased and read in 1977 but subsequently lost. I am happy to be purchasing it again today, to read, enjoy and share it with my children.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Player Ever. July 20 2006
By SUPPORT THE ASPCA. - Published on Amazon.com
This is an exceptionally detailed biography. The statistical chart at the back of all the games he played in was a very pleasant surprise. The only things missing was some tactical diagrams and a map of Brazil. Every chapter added colorful insight into his life-Ch's-2,6,8-facts of life, 9-Pele in love and 17. He also gave the reader the fine nuances of the "beautiful game." Chapters-1,3-5,10,12,14-1,000 goal,15-16,18,19-20-Cosmos years. I found chapters 7-race relations in Brazil,11-the trainor, and 13-Santos years to be the most interesting. Lastly, I could not agree more with Pele's distaste for defensive Football on 310-11.
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