First, if you went "huh?" when you read the name, shame on you!
Edson Arantes do Nascimento is nothing less than the Greatest Player Of All Time, also known as Pele.
I'm posting some brief extracts from an interview he gave to UK magazine FourFourTwo.
Can you remember the first time you kicked a football?
Of course I remember. I was six years old and it was my birthday. At that time it was difficult to get a leather ball because they were so expensive. Then on my birthday, one of the players from my father's team, a man called Sosa, gave me a leather ball and that was the first time I kicked a real ball. Before that, we used socks stuffed with papers or a grapefruit.
Do you remember your first World Cup in 1958? Could you take in what it meant?
I was 17 years old, but I remember it very, very well, first because I had a good World Cup, but also because it was the first time I'd travelled outside of Brazil. I remember that after the final, I was so excited because I'd played and Brazil had won and I desperately wanted to tell my family. I wanted to call them to find out if they knew about the game because a t that time it was only on the radio. So I said to the newspaper and radio men, "Where can I find a telephone? I want to call my father." But they didn't have a telephone so I had to wait until the next day to call them. I remember saying "Hello! Champions, we're champions!" and all the other players were in a line waiting to call home. Today if a guy scores a goal, he runs to the camera and says, "Mummy, I scored a goal!" but back then it was very, very different.
Do you regret not moving to Europe? Did you get any offers?
I had a lot of offers to come to Europe, but I was OK at Santos. The difference in those days was that the money they offered was not so big that you couldn't refuse it.
Later in my career, Real Madrid made an excellent offer and Giovanni Agnelli from Juventus wanted to give me a share of Fiat in return for me signing (Fiat had opened a plant in Brazil and they wanted to use me to promote it).
It's funny because I tease the Brazilian players now. I see them kissing the badge on their shirt as say "I love Manchester, I love it". Then the next year, they move and they say "I love Roma, I love it". They don't love the club, they love the money, that's why they moved. That's OK, but at some point you've got to decide what you love: the team, or the money?
Motorsport News voted the moment when you didn't wave the chequered flag at the 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher the 27th most embarrassing motorsport moment ever. What happened?
[Giggling throughout his answer] The director of the track said to me, "Listen, when the car is approaching, 800 metres away, I'm going to touch you, so just relax, you don't have to worry." So the end of the race came, and I saw Schumacher and his brother appear but the director hadn't touched me. It was getting late so I got ready to wave the flag, but just before I waved it, he touched me. I looked at him to say, "What?" and then I looked back, Schumacher had passed. I said: "Why are you touching me now? You were supposed to touch me before." He said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Then I put the flag up. People tease me, but when I waved the flag, he had only just passed. It was between first and second.
Who do you rate as the best player in the world right now? I have you down as a Ronaldinho man…
I don't like to say who is the best right now because then the newspapers say, "Pele says 'X' is the best in the world", and that puts so much pressure on that player. The best players are the ones who show consistency over many years. That's why for me Zidane has been the best player of the last 10 years.
Ronaldinho is a good player, he has some nice skills and he's playing well, but let's see if he can keep it up. Let's see how he plays in three or four or five years' time.
In print your relationship with Maradona seems very acrimonious. How do you get on when you meet face to face?
We don't have a problem. It's only the newspapers. Last year, I was at his farewell game. They had a big party for him and I was there. The problem is, Maradona likes to talk and sometimes the newspapers push him, then he says something, but I've never had a problem with him. We are not friends, but I was with him in October. The truth is, I feel sorry for him. He was a great player, but he got lost because of the drugs. I hope now that he can recover, that he can have a normal life. That's what I pray for.