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Brazilian dictionary adds Pele as adjective, synonym of 'best'

Pele Foundation, Santos FC and many Brazilians celebrate decision by publishers

AP/PTI Sao Paulo Published 28.04.23, 06:30 AM

Pele. File photo

A Brazilian dictionary has added “Pele” as an adjective to use when describing someone who is “exceptional, incomparable, unique.”

The announcement by the Michaelis dictionary on Wednesday is part of a campaign that gathered more than 125,000 signatures to honour the late football great’s impact beyond his sport.


The three-time World Cup champion died in December at age 82.

The dictionary entry reads: “The one that is extraordinary, or who because of his quality, value or superiority cannot be matched to anything or anyone, just like Pele; nickname of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022), considered the best athlete of all time; exceptional, incomparable, unique.

“Examples: He is the Pele of basketball, she is the Pele of Brazilian theatre.”

The Pele Foundation, Santos FC and many Brazilians celebrated the decision by the publishers.

“We put the name of the King of Soccer into the Portuguese language. Pele means THE BEST,” Pele’s social media channels said after the announcement.

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