Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to his schoolmates as Pelé, grew up in poverty in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. He was too poor to afford a real soccer ball, so he played with a ball of newspaper tied together with string. Yet he dominated the youth leagues and signed his first professional soccer contract at the age of fifteen. Within two years he was celebrated internationally, when he led Brazil to victory at the world cup. Known by his fans as “O Rei” (The King), Pelé is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. But he’s more than just an athlete: he also traveled the world as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Pelé is the living symbol of a sport he dubbed “the beautiful game” a game that brings people together regardless of race or nationality.
Born in Brazil, Neymar Jr. grew up imagining that he might one day become a famous soccer player. Now his dream has come true. Using playful, child-friendly language, deep knowledge of the sport, and passion for it author, Mina Javaherbin, brings to life Neymar’s childhood and professional career for young soccer fans to enjoy. Her text is accompanied by Paul Hoppe’s modern, colorful illustrations.
In an interview with a young journalist, World cub hero El Gato describes his youth in the Brazilian rain forest and the events, experiences, and people that helped make him a great goalkeeper and renowned soccer star.