The Michaelis dictionary published in Brazil has added “Pelé” as a word meaning “the one that is extraordinary.” Examples given include: “she is the Pelé of tennis” and “he is the Pelé of medicine.”
The announcement by the Michaelis dictionary on Wednesday is part of a campaign that gathered more than 125,000 signatures to honor the late soccer great’s impact beyond his sport.
The three-time World Cup champion died in December at age 82 after a fight against colon cancer.
The Pelé Foundation, Santos FC — where he played most of his career — and many Brazilians celebrated the decision by the publishers of one of the country’s most popular dictionaries.
“The expression that was already used to refer to the best at something is already eternal in the pages of the dictionary,” Pelé’s social media channels said after the announcement. “We made history together and put the name of the King of Soccer into the Portuguese language. Pelé means ‘THE BEST’.”