Pelé's nickname shaped his future

PEDRO Monteiro is better known as Pelé ... but the nickname his mates gave him as a kid was when he was mainly playing BASKETBALL.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who last week put pen to paper on a deal which keeps him tied to the Bairns until next summer, admits his moniker had nothing much to do with his footballing prowess.

However, he believes that being handed the same name as one of the world's greatest-ever players while at school probably shaped his future.

And since those days growing up in Portugal, Monteiro has gone on to command a 1 million signing-on fee with South-ampton and then West Bromich Albion, which saw him ply his trade in the English Premier League and turn out for his homeland, Cape Verde, in World Cup qualifiers.

"I really don't know why I was called Pel, I certainly didn't ask for it," he said. "It was just a nickname my friends gave me when I was younger, even though I played more basketball than football at the time.

"However, it's not a bad name to have and I could probably have only done one thing after that, and that was become a footballer."

Read the full story in this week's Falkirk Herald