The Portuguese-language Michaelis dictionary, one of the most popular in Brazil, added “pelé” as a new adjective for someone who is “exceptional, incomparable, unique”. The inclusion came after a campaign by the Pelé Foundation to honour the football star gathered more than 1,25,000 signatures.
The entry 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 equalled 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 publishers behind Michaelis dictionaries announced on April 26 that the word would be included in the digital edition of their Portuguese-language dictionary immediately and in the printed version once the next edition was published.
The Brazilian soccer legend passed away on 29 December 2022 at the age of 82. He had been battling cancer in the hospital since November. FIFA famously titled him ‘The Greatest’ to recognise his pioneering work in football and influence both on and off the field.
Pelé is the only player to have won the World Cup three times. He is widely considered to be 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.