He had a tough start. People were not kind to him either on or off the field. As I understand it, the introduction of yellow and red cards came about due to the abuse that he took on the field. He stuck with it and became one of the greatest players when you look at all sports in general.
The one most people don't remember is Garrincha. He invented foot skills & creative dribbling. Pele called Garrincha the best player he'd ever seen. When Pele & Garrincha both started, the Brazillian National team never lost a single game. When Pele was injured in 1962, Garrincha led Brazil to win the World Cup, and was both the leading goal scorer & MVP of the 1962 World Cup.