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International News: Pelé makes the dictionary

Posted: Sunday, April 30, 2023. 7:24 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Exceptional. Incomparable. Unique.

Think of the late Edson Arantes do Nascimento; these words probably come to mind. But at least in Brazilian Portuguese according to the BBC, only one word is necessary to describe someone who meets those lofty expectations – his nickname, Pelé.

The writers of the Portuguese-language Michaelis dictionary, one of the most popular in Brazil announced it would add pelé, with a small p, as an adjective to its online edition and next printed edition.

The definition reads: “pe.lé adj. That or someone who is out of the ordinary, who or who by virtue of their quality, value or superiority cannot be equaled to anything or anyone, just like Pelé, nickname of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022), who is considered the greatest athlete of all time; exceptional, incomparable, unique.”

The inclusion came after a campaign by the Pelé Foundation to honour the football star gathered more than 125,000 signatures. Pelé died in December aged 82.

The only player to have won the World Cup three times, he is widely considered the best footballer in history. During his playing career spanning two decades, he scored a record 1,281 goals with Brazilian club Santos, Brazil’s national team, and the New York Cosmos.

Since his death from complications from colon cancer, his former club, Santos, sports channel SporTV and the Pelé Foundation had been pressing for the football star’s name to be recognized with its own entry in the dictionary, saying that a fitting tribute to the man known as “O Rei” (The King) was to have the nickname he originally despised come to refer to “someone who is the best at what they do.”

 

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