Soccer legend Pelé is being immortalized in a Portuguese language dictionary as his nickname officially become synonymous with “exceptional, incomparable, unique”.
The Portuguese-language Michaelis dictionary, one of the most popular in Brazil, added “pelé” as a new adjective meaning “the one that is extraordinary” to its online edition.
The inclusion came after a campaign by the Pelé Foundation to honour the football star gathered more than 125,000 signatures.
The only player to have won the World Cup three times and is widely considered to be the best footballer in history died in December 2022 at the age of 82 from complications from colon cancer.
The publishers behind Michaelis dictionaries announced on Wednesday 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 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.”
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.