Soccer icon Pele welled up with emotion as he reflected back on his days as a member of Brazil's national squad and Brazilian club Santos during the launch here of what he called the "definitive book" on his storied career.

"It was very moving to see all those images because it made me think of all the people who loved and supported me during my career: my family, friends, teammates and fans," Pele said on Facebook.

The massive limited-edition title, published in Italy and titled "1283" in reference to the number of goals he is believed to have scored and the number of pages, has a hefty price tag of 3,600 reais (some $1,651).

A special edition of the book, 50 of which have been printed in Brazil, is being sold for a whopping 5,500 reais (some $2,522).

During Wednesday's book launch at Sao Paulo's Museum of Image and Sound, the 72-year-old Pele was unable to hold back his tears after watching a three-minute video of his career highlights.

Pele, the only player in soccer history to capture three World Cup winners' medals, reflected during the event on his experiences at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, which he said was his first trip to Europe.

"For me, all the blondes were German," the former star joked, recalling how the Swedish women touched his hair to see if it was real.

The special edition includes an image of Pele with a heart-shaped patch of sweat on his jersey during his final game with the national squad, a match played at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium. EFE