THE BLACK LATINO

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►Pele

Edison Arantes do Nascimento, better known as “Pele” is undisputedly the best soccer player of all time.

He won three World Cups for Brazil in 1958, 1962, and 1970. According to his autobiography, Pele got his name for mispronouncing the name of Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bile and calling him Pile. Pele’s friends teased him about the name and it stuck.

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Pele is an ambassador to the game of soccer throughout the world and in an article from Men’s Fitness even his game led to a 48 hour cease fire between two factions in the 1967 Nigerian Civil War to watch him play. Pele played for Santos (Brazil) and the New York Cosmos.

►Giovanni dos Santos

Fans of the “el tri”, the Mexican National team, can thank Brazilian soccer player Gerardo dos Santos “Zizinho” for marrying Liliana Ramirez of Mexico. Giovani dos Santos Ramirez was born on May 11, 1989 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

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In 2001, dos Santos was the star of the team coached by his father, Sao Paulo, which won the Dallas Cup. After that, his father got him a tryout at the age of 12 with Monterrey where he was labeled a prodigy.

In 2005, dos Santos helped Mexico win the U-17 (Sub 17) World Cup. By this time, the 17 year old had signed with FC Barcelona where he led the youth team to a Juvenil A championship.

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He made his senior team debut in the summer of 2006 scoring a goal in his first game with FC Barcelona on July 29, 2006. In the U-20 (Sub 20) World Cup, he led Mexico to the quarterfinals where they lost to eventual champion Argentina.

Giovani as he’s known in Europe made his Spain La Liga, Mexican National Team and UEFA Champions League debuts in September of 2007 at the young age of eighteen.

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