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on 3 July 2017
Very honest and interesting read. Pele gave a detailed description of his career and how he became an icon. Recommended.
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on 8 November 2017
It is a shame that the best in the world do not always write the best autobiographies. It could be that a great sport person or actor does not automtatically make for a great writer, but I think it is something else – reputation. The best have built up a legacy around themselves that means they have more to lose. A warts and all revelation about a middling Premiership player is not going to knock their rep, but it may do to a player of a higher standard. Pele for instance. Regarded as one of the best, if not the best, footballer of all time. Does he want to tarnish his past by raking up the muck?

The simple answer is no. ‘Pele: The Autobiography’ is classic autobiography fair in that it does not reveal too much about the person writing it. This is not the book to learn about his affairs off the pitch, but those on it. If you are a fan of the man’s footballing career you are in for a treat. The book covers all his major national and international games. There is also an interesting start to the book as Pele grew up in relative poverty to become a rich man loved by the people of Brazil.

The most interesting sections of the book are about how Pele tried to deal with the adulation of his fans and how his finances differed as he became more famous. You would think that someone as lauded as Pele would be mega rich, but the book explores several flawed business plans. It is also interesting reading about his retirement and move to America. You get a real sense of how much Pele appreciated his fans and the opportunities he was given in life.

The reason that Pele’s retirement and financial problems are interesting are because they offer rare glimpses into what his private life is like. This book is a closed shop and that is the prerogative of the writer, but it does make it dryer than it needed to be. We hear tell of affairs and children in trouble with the law, but these are dealt with quickly and little detail. Pele paints himself as a pretty good man, but is not ready to explore why he had the affairs etc.

For football fans, what Pele did off the pitch is not really important and these readers are treated well in this autobiography. However, I prefer more of a balance between public and private life in my biogs and in the case of ‘Pele’ too much is left unsaid. Maradona had a more colourful life for sure and his autobiography portrayed his. Even with the quieter time that Pele had, you get the feeling that he could have offered a little more, but perhaps worrying about his legacy made him take a step back.
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on 26 October 2010
I absolutely love this book! I am only 14, but i instantly have become addicted. I have always believed that he was the greatest player ever, and this confirms this. It is stunning to find out more about Peles upbringing and how and where he used to play football as a child.

I am in awe of this book!
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on 31 December 2007
I was given this book as a gift by a very good friend of mine. As so many of us have only seen rare footage of this living legend, it's a difficult task on how to gauge his ability with today's current superstars. However, from the scenes I have watched, and some of the comments within this book, I can only imagine he would top the list that would include Ronaldinho, Kaka, Messi and Henry. Better than Best or Maradona? I'm not sure, perhaps equal. I enjoy reading football biographies, and this was no exception. So many aspects of his life is covered, even his early cahoots with girls, to his poorly managed businesses that cost him huge amounts of money. He speaks fondly of his family, especially his father, Dondinho, and how he was the inspiration towards his path to football immortality. A magnificent read, and easy to follow.
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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2006
Although Pele is regarded by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, he was at his peak before TV coverage became what it is today. That and that he never played European club football means that the only time many of us actually saw Pele play was in World Cup tournaments. In fact to the vast majority of people under the age of thirty Pele is probably most famous for his advertisements about erectile disfunction! Like all football supporters I have seen his header that produced Gordon Banks' miraculous save, his outrageous dummy and his lob from the halfway line during the same World Cup but I was hoping this book would tell me a little more about the man and the footballer. I was disappointed. It rattles along at a pace - rather too quickly for my liking. The description of his childhood is brief, preferring to move onto his football career. Even this is touched on all too briefly; at one stage he tells us about playing football with a ball made out of rolled up socks then within a few pages he his part of Brazils World Cup winning team of 1958! This continues all the way through. In particular I wanted to find out more about the wonderful Brazil team of 1970, but this book tells me little I didn't already know.

This is not a bad book, in fact as footballers autobigraphies go its good, but I will wait till until somebody writes the definative biography before I read about the true story of Pele.
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on 5 July 2006
For those who can remember seeing him play, and many who can't, Pele is to football what The Beatles were to music and Scorsese is to cinema.

To put him into context, he is the boy from Brazil who went on to shine in four World Cups, winning three of them, and scoring more than 1,200 career goals. In short, he is the greatest player of all-time.

Helped along by Alex Bellos (author of the excellent Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life), the book charts his progress to global recognition as the ultimate footballing icon - a player that epitomised the Samba ethos of the Brazilians with a grace and modesty seldom repeated.

As a tale, it faithfully recreates his journey and fills in the gaps before and after his playing days, but the real emotion is summed up by those fortunate, or in the case of Italian defender Tarcissio Burgnich, unfortunate enough to play alongside or against him.

"I told myself, he's flesh and blood, just like me." says Burgnich, "I was wrong."
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on 6 June 2006
This has been the best book ever written about 'The King'. It gives a clear account of his life and the hardships that he faced and overcame to become the worlds best ever player and also a good man. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the beautiful game or anyone who enjoys a good read.
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on 25 February 2009
As Pele is my idol and having read many books on the great man,I was thoroughly impressed by this book as it still managed to give me photographs of the Brazilian superstar I had never seen and gave anecdotes I had not read about him before.Excellent book and good value for money form Amazon
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on 9 June 2006
This long awaited autobiography truly gets to the heart of the man himself - an interesting story whether you're a footy fan or not. It's real page-turning stuff this, you feel like you're on a journey with Pele as he takes you from his humble beginnings through to his current status as global Icon. The stuff on the 1970 world cup finals is particularly good and it's packed with some stunning colour photography and has a useful appendix outlining his career and goal-scoring record - it proves the boy Rooney has a way to go yet!!! If you like football - get it, if you don't like football - get it, you won't be disappointed!
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on 16 May 2016

A very enjoyable read.
Pele was someone always spoken of throughout my childhood in the media.
This autobiography is compelling. From his poor upbringing in Brazil to his
playing bare foot on Copa Cobana beach in Rio and his star studded career
Pele relates well in this book of his extraordinary life.
I thought Pele had led a very trouble free life. But no one is perfect and
his honesty is refreshing.
I was most fascinated by the way Pele told of his love of the game of football.
Of the highlights of winning the World Cup with Brazil. Especially his wonderful
display's in the 1970 tournament in Mexico.
I read many autobiographies and this particular one stands out as one I
have enjoyed recently.

I recommend 'The Autobiography - Pele ' to football fans or anyone fascinated
by extraordinary gifted human beings.


Craig Minto.
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