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Pelé

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Pelé
Pele200802FabioRodriguesPozzebomAgenciaBrasil.jpg
Pelé in 2008
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento
(1940-10-23) 23 October 1940 (age 77)
Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Occupation
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Spouse(s)
  • Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi (m. 1966–82)
  • Assíria Lemos Seixas (m. 1994–2008)
  • Marcia Aoki (m. 2016)
Partner(s) Xuxa (1981–86)
Children
Parent(s) Dondinho, Celeste Arantes
Website www.pele10.com
Association football career
Playing position
Youth career
1953–1956 Bauru
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1956–1974 Santos 638 (619)
1975–1977 New York Cosmos 56 (31)
Total 694 (650)
National team
1957–1971 Brazil 92 (77)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈɛtsõ (w)ɐˈɾɐ̃tʃiz du nɐsiˈmẽtu]; born 23 October 1940), known as Pelé (Brazilian Portuguese: [pe̞ˈlɛ]), is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful league goal-scorer in the world, scoring 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and tour games. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.

Pelé began playing for Santos at age 15 and the Brazil national football team at 16. During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1970, being the only player ever to do so. Pelé is the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games. At club level he is also the record goalscorer for Santos, and led them to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores. Pelé's "electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals" made him a star around the world, and his club team Santos toured internationally in order to take full advantage of his popularity. Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football and has made many acting and commercial ventures. In 2010, he was named the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos.

Pelé has also been known for connecting the phrase "The Beautiful Game" with football. A prolific goalscorer, Pelé was known for anticipating his opponents' movements in the field, and being able to shoot strong and accurate shots with both feet. Early in his career, he played in a variety of attacking formations. In his later career, he played in a playmaking role behind offensive strikers. In Brazil, he is hailed as a national hero for his accomplishments in football and for his outspoken support of policies that improve the social conditions of the poor. Throughout his career and in his retirement, Pelé received several individual and team awards for his performance in the field, his record-breaking achievements, and legacy in the sport.

Early years

Pelé was born on 23 October 1940, in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil, the son of Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born João Ramos do Nascimento) and Celeste Arantes. He was the elder of two siblings.[1] He was named after the American inventor Thomas Edison.[2] His parents decided to remove the "i" and call him "Edson", but there was a mistake on the birth certificate, leading many documents to show his name as "Edison", not "Edson", as he is called.[2][3] He was originally nicknamed "Dico" by his family.[1][4] He received the nickname "Pelé" during his school days, when it is claimed he was given it because of his pronunciation of the name of his favorite player, local Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bilé, which he misspoke but the more he complained the more it stuck. In his autobiography, Pelé stated he had no idea what the name means, nor did his old friends.[1] Apart from the assertion that the name is derived from that of Bilé, and that it is Hebrew for "miracle" (פֶּ֫לֶא), the word has no known meaning in Portuguese.[note 1][5]

Pelé grew up in poverty in Bauru in the state of São Paulo. He earned extra money by working in tea shops as a servant. Taught to play by his father, he could not afford a proper football and usually played with either a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a string or a grapefruit.[6][1] He played for several amateur teams in his youth, including Sete de Setembro, Canto do Rio, São Paulinho, and Amériquinha.[7] Pelé led Bauru Athletic Club juniors (coached by Waldemar de Brito) to two São Paulo state youth championships.[8] In his mid-teens, he played for an indoor football team called Radium. Indoor football had just become popular in Bauru when Pelé began playing it. He was part of the first Futebol de Salão (indoor football) competition in the region. Pelé and his team won the first championship and several others.[9]

According to Pelé, indoor football presented difficult challenges; he said it was a lot quicker than football on the grass and that players were required to think faster because everyone is close to each other in the pitch. Pelé accredits indoor football for helping him think better on the spot. In addition, indoor football allowed him to play with adults when he was about 14-years-old. In one of the tournaments he participated, he was initially considered too young to play, but eventually went on to end up top scorer with fourteen or fifteen goals. "That gave me a lot of confidence", Pelé said, "I knew then not to be afraid of whatever might come".[9]

Club career

Santos

In 1956, de Brito took Pelé to Santos, an industrial and port city located near São Paulo, to try out for professional club Santos FC, telling the directors at Santos that the 15-year-old would be "the greatest football player in the world."[10] Pelé impressed Santos coach Lula during his trial at the Estádio Vila Belmiro, and he signed a professional contract with the club in June 1956.[11] Pelé was highly promoted in the local media as a future superstar. He made his senior team debut on 7 September 1956 at the age of 15 against Corinthians Santo Andre and had an impressive performance in a 7–1 victory, scoring the first goal in his prolific career during the match.[12][13]

When the 1957 season (pt) started, Pelé was given a starting place in the first team and, at the age of 16, became the top scorer in the league. Ten months after signing professionally, the teenager was called up to the Brazil national team. After the 1962 World Cup, wealthy European clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United tried to sign him, but the government of Brazil under President Jânio Quadros had declared Pelé an "official national treasure" the year before to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.[6][14]

Pelé with Santos in the Netherlands, October 1962

Pelé won his first major title with Santos in 1958 (pt) as the team won the Campeonato Paulista; Pelé would finish the tournament as top scorer with 58 goals,[15] a record that stands today. A year later, he would help the team earn their first victory in the Torneio Rio-São Paulo with a 3–0 over Vasco da Gama.[16] However, Santos was unable to retain the Paulista title. In 1960, Pelé scored 33 goals to help his team regain the Campeonato Paulista trophy but lost out on the Rio-São Paulo tournament after finishing in 8th place.[17] In the 1960 season, Pelé scored 47 goals and helped Santos retain the Campeonato Paulista. The club went on to win the Taça Brasil that same year, beating Bahia in the finals; Pelé finished as top scorer of the tournament with 9 goals. The victory allowed Santos to participate in the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club tournament in the Western hemisphere.[18]

"I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I went away convinced I had been undone by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of us."
—Benfica goalkeeper Costa Pereira following the loss to Santos in 1962.[19]

Santos's most successful Copa Libertadores season started in 1962;[20] the team was seeded in Group One alongside Cerro Porteño and Deportivo Municipal Bolivia, winning every match of their group but one (a 1–1 away tie versus Cerro). Santos defeated Universidad Católica in the semifinals and met defending champions Peñarol in the finals. Pelé scored twice in the playoff match to secure the first title for a Brazilian club.[21] Pelé finished as the second top scorer of the competition with four goals. That same year, Santos would successfully defend the Campeonato Brasileiro (with 37 goals from Pelé) and the Taça Brasil (Pelé scoring four goals in the final series against Botafogo). Santos would also win the 1962 Intercontinental Cup against Benfica.[22] Wearing his number 10 shirt, Pelé produced one of the best performances of his career, scoring a hat-trick in Lisbon as Santos won 5–2.[23][24] As the defending champions, Santos qualified automatically to the semi-final stage of the 1963 Copa Libertadores. The ballet blanco, the nickname given to Santos for Pelé, managed to retain the title after victories over Botafogo and Boca Juniors. Pelé helped Santos overcome a Botafogo team that contained Brazilian legends such as Garrincha and Jairzinho with a last-minute goal in the first leg of the semi-finals which made it 1–1. In the second leg, Pelé scored a hat-trick in the Estádio do Maracanã as Santos won, 0–4, in the second leg. Santos started the final series by winning, 3–2, in the first leg and defeating Boca Juniors 1–2, in La Bombonera. It was a rare feat in official competitions, with another goal from Pelé.[25] Santos became the first (and to date the only) Brazilian team to lift the Copa Libertadores in Argentine soil. Pelé finished the tournament with 5 goals. Santos lost the Campeonato Paulista after finishing in third place but went on to win the Rio-São Paulo tournament after a 0–3 win over Flamengo in the final, with Pelé scoring one goal. Pelé would also help Santos retain the Intercontinental Cup and the Taça Brasil against Milan and Bahia respectively.[22]

Pelé is the all-time leading scorer with Santos.

In the 1964 Copa Libertadores, Santos were beaten in both legs of the semi-finals by Independiente. The club won the Campeonato Paulista, with Pelé netting 34 goals. Santos also shared the Rio-São Paulo title with Botafogo and won the Taça Brasil for the fourth consecutive year. In the 1965 Copa Libertadores, Santos reached the semi-finals and met Peñarol in a rematch of the 1962 final. After two matches, a playoff was needed to break the tie.[26] Unlike 1962, Peñarol came out on top and eliminated Santos 2–1.[26] Pelé would, however, finish as the topscorer of the tournament with eight goals.[27] This proved to be the start of a decline as Santos failed to retain the Torneio Rio-São Paulo. In 1966, Pelé and Santos also failed to retain the Taça Brasil as Pelé's goals were not enough to prevent a 9–4 defeat by Cruzeiro (led by Tostão) in the final series. The club did, however, win the Campeonato Paulista in 1967, 1968 and 1969. On 19 November 1969, Pelé scored his 1000th goal in all competitions, in what was a highly anticipated moment in Brazil. The goal, popularly dubbed O Milésimo (The Thousandth), occurred in a match against Vasco da Gama, when Pelé scored from a penalty kick, at the Maracanã Stadium.[28]

Pelé states that his most memorable goal was scored at Rua Javari stadium on a Campeonato Paulista match against São Paulo rival Clube Atlético Juventus on 2 August 1959. As there is no video footage of this match, Pelé asked that a computer animation be made of this specific goal.[29] In March 1961, Pelé scored the gol de placa (goal worthy of a plaque), against Fluminense at the Maracanã.[30] Pelé received the ball on the edge of his own penalty area, and ran the length of the field, eluding opposition players with feints, before striking the ball beyond the goalkeeper.[30] A plaque was commissioned with a dedication to "the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracanã".[31]

In 1967, the two factions involved in the Nigerian Civil War agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pelé play an exhibition game in Lagos.[32] During his time at Santos, Pelé played alongside many gifted players, including Zito, Pepe, and Coutinho; the latter partnered him in numerous one-two plays, attacks, and goals.[33]

New York Cosmos

Pelé signing a football for U.S. President Richard Nixon at the White House in 1973, two years before joining the New York Cosmos

After the 1974 season (pt), (his 19th with Santos), Pelé retired from Brazilian club football although he continued to occasionally play for Santos in official competitive matches. Two years later, he came out of semi-retirement to sign with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL) for the 1975 season. Though well past his prime at this point, Pelé was credited with significantly increasing public awareness and interest of the sport in the United States. Hoping to fuel the same kind of awareness in the Dominican Republic, he and the Cosmos team played in an exhibition match against Haitian team, Violette AC, in the Santo Domingo Olympic Stadium on 3 June 1976, where over 25,000 fans watched him score a winning goal in the last seconds of the match, leading the Cosmos to a 2–1 victory.[34] He led the Cosmos to the 1977 NASL championship, in his third and final season with the club.[35]

Pelé (left) with Eusébio (far right) before a game in the NASL in April 1977

On 1 October 1977, Pelé closed out his career in an exhibition match between the Cosmos and Santos. Santos arrived in New York after previously defeating the Seattle Sounders in New Jersey, 2–0. The match was played in front of a sold out crowd at Giants Stadium and was televised in the United States on ABC's Wide World of Sports as well as throughout the world. Pelé's father and wife both attended the match, as well as Muhammad Ali and Bobby Moore.[36]

International career

Pelé (crouched, second from right to left) and the Brazil national team at 1959 Copa America

Pelé's first international match was a 2–1 defeat against Argentina on 7 July 1957 at the Maracanã.[37][38] In that match, he scored his first goal for Brazil aged 16 years and nine months to become the youngest player to score in international football.[39]

1958 World Cup

Pelé arrived in Sweden sidelined by a knee injury but on his return from the treatment room, his colleagues stood together and insisted upon his selection.[40] His first match was against the USSR in the third match of the first round of the 1958 FIFA World Cup, where he gave the assist to Vavá's second goal.[41] He was the youngest player of that tournament, and at the time the youngest ever to play in the World Cup.[note 2][38] Against France in the semifinal, Brazil was leading 2–1 at halftime, and then Pelé scored a hat-trick, becoming the youngest in World Cup history to do so.[43]

Pelé cries on the shoulder of Gilmar dos Santos Neves, after Brazil won the 1958 World Cup.

On 29 June 1958, Pelé became the youngest player to play in a World Cup final match at 17 years and 249 days. He scored two goals in that final as Brazil beat Sweden 5–2 in Stockholm, the capital. His first goal where he flicked the ball over a defender before volleying into the corner of the net, was selected as one of the best goals in the history of the World Cup.[44] Following Pelé's second goal, Swedish player Sigvard Parling would later comment; "When Pelé scored the fifth goal in that Final, I have to be honest and say I felt like applauding".[45] When the match ended, Pelé passed out on the field, and was revived by Garrincha.[46] He then recovered, and was compelled by the victory to weep as he was being congratulated by his teammates. He finished the tournament with six goals in four matches played, tied for second place, behind record-breaker Just Fontaine, and was named best young player of the tournament.[47]

It was in the 1958 World Cup that Pelé began wearing a jersey with number 10. The event was the result of disorganization: the leaders of the Brazilian Federation did not send the shirt numbers of players and it was up to FIFA to choose the number 10 shirt to Pelé who was a substitute on the occasion.[48] The press proclaimed Pelé the greatest revelation of the 1958 World Cup, and he was also retroactively given the Silver Ball as the second best player of the tournament, behind Didi.[45]

South American Championship

Pelé also played in the South American Championship. In the 1959 competition he was named best player of the tournament and was top scorer with 8 goals, as Brazil came second despite being unbeaten in the tournament.[45][49][50]

1962 World Cup

Pelé fighting for a ball against the Swedish goalkeeper Kalle Svensson during the 1958 World Cup final

When the 1962 World Cup started, Pelé was the best rated player in the world at the time.[51] In the first match of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, against Mexico, Pelé assisted the first goal and then scored the second one, after a run past four defenders, to go up 2–0.[52] He injured himself in the next game while attempting a long-range shot against Czechoslovakia.[53] This would keep him out of the rest of the tournament, and forced coach Aymoré Moreira to make his only lineup change of the tournament. The substitute was Amarildo, who performed well for the rest of the tournament. However, it was Garrincha who would take the leading role and carry Brazil to their second World Cup title, after beating Czechoslovakia at the final in Santiago.[54]

1966 World Cup

Pelé was the most famous footballer in the world during the 1966 World Cup in England, and Brazil fielded some world champions like Garrincha, Gilmar and Djalma Santos with the addition of other stars like Jairzinho, Tostão and Gérson, leading to high expectations for them.[55] Brazil was eliminated in the first round, playing only three matches.[55] The World Cup was marked, among other things, for foulings on Pelé that left him injured by the Bulgarian and Portuguese defenders.[56]

Pelé scored the first goal from a free kick against Bulgaria, becoming the first player to score in three successive FIFA World Cups, but due to his injury, a result of persistent fouling by the Bulgarians, he missed the second game against Hungary.[55] Brazil lost that game and Pelé, although still recovering, was brought back for the last crucial match against Portugal at Goodison Park in Liverpool by the Brazilian coach Vicente Feola. Feola changed the entire defense, including the goalkeeper, while in midfield he returned to the formation of the first match. During the game, Portugal defender João Morais fouled Pelé, but was not sent off by referee George McCabe.[57] Pelé had to stay on the field limping for the rest of the game, since substitutes were not allowed at that time.[57] After this game he vowed he would never again play in the World Cup, a decision he would later change.[51]

1970 World Cup

Pelé was called to the national team in early 1969, he refused at first, but then accepted and played in six World Cup qualifying matches, scoring six goals.[58] The 1970 World Cup in Mexico was expected to be Pelé's last. Brazil's squad for the tournament featured major changes in relation to the 1966 squad. Players like Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Valdir Pereira, Djalma Santos and Gilmar had already retired. However, Brazil's 1970 World Cup squad, which included players like Pelé, Rivelino, Jairzinho, Gérson, Carlos Alberto Torres, Tostão and Clodoaldo, is often considered to be the greatest football team in history.[59][60]

Pelé, front row second from right, before the match against Peru in the 1970 World Cup

The front five of Jairzinho, Pelé, Gerson, Tostão and Rivelino together created an attacking momentum, with Pelé having a central role in Brazil's way to the final.[61] All of Brazil's matches in the tournament (except the final) were played in Guadalajara, and in the first match against Czechoslovakia, Pelé gave Brazil a 2–1 lead, by controlling Gerson's long pass with his chest and then scoring. In this match Pelé attempted to lob goalkeeper Ivo Viktor from the half-way line, only narrowly missing the Czechoslovak goal.[62] Brazil went on to win the match, 4–1. In the first half of the match against England, Pelé nearly scored with a header that was saved by the England goalkeeper Gordon Banks.[63] In the second half, he controlled a cross from Tostão before flicking the ball to Jairzinho who scored the only goal.[64]

Mário Zagallo (Brazil's 1970 coach with Pelé in 2008). Zagallo said of Pelé: "A kid in Sweden [1958 World Cup] gave signs of genius, and in Mexico [1970 World Cup] he fulfilled all that promise and closed the book with a golden key. And I had the privilege to see it all from close up."[65]

Against Romania, Pelé scored two goals, with Brazil winning by a final score of 3–2. In the quarterfinals against Peru, Brazil won 4–2, with Pelé assisting Tostão for Brazil's third goal. In their semi-final match, Brazil faced Uruguay for the first time since the 1950 World Cup final round match. Jairzinho put Brazil ahead 2–1, and Pelé assisted Rivelino for the 3–1. During that match, Pelé made one of his most famous plays.[62] Tostão passed the ball for Pelé to collect which Uruguay's goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz took notice of and ran off his line to get the ball before Pelé. However, Pelé got there first and fooled Mazurkiewicz with a feint by not touching the ball, causing it to roll to the goalkeepers left, while Pelé went to the goalkeepers right. Pelé ran around the goalkeeper to retrieve the ball and took a shot while turning towards the goal, but he turned in excess as he shot, and the ball drifted just wide of the far post.[66]

Brazil played Italy in the final at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.[67] Pelé scored the opening goal with a header over Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich. He then made assists on Brazil's third goal, scored by Jairzinho, and the fourth finished by Carlos Alberto. The last goal of the game is often considered the greatest team goal of all time because it involved all but two of the team's outfield players. The play culminated after Pelé made a blind pass that went into Carlos Alberto's running trajectory. He came running from behind and struck the ball to score.[68] Brazil won the match 4–1, keeping the Jules Rimet Trophy indefinitely, and Pelé received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.[45][69] Burgnich, who marked Pelé during the final, was quoted saying "I told myself before the game, he's made of skin and bones just like everyone else — but I was wrong".[70]

Pelé's last international match was on 18 July 1971 against Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro. With Pelé on the field, the Brazilian team's record was 67 wins, 14 draws and 11 losses.[58] Brazil never lost a match while fielding both Pelé and Garrincha.[71]

Style of play

Pelé dribbling past a defender while playing for Brazil, May 1960.

Pelé has also been known for connecting the phrase "The Beautiful Game" with football.[72] A prolific goalscorer, he was known for his ability to anticipate opponents in the area and finish off chances with an accurate and powerful shot with either foot.[32][73][74] Pelé was also a hard-working team-player, with exceptional vision and intelligence, who was recognised for his precise passing, and ability to link-up with teammates and provide them with assists.[75][76][77]

In his early career, he played in a variety of attacking positions. Although he usually operated inside the penalty area as a main striker or centre-forward, his wide range of skills also allowed him to play in a more withdrawn role, as an inside forward or second striker, or out wide.[78][62][75] In his later career, he took on more of a deeper playmaking role behind the strikers, often functioning as an attacking midfielder.[79][80][81] Pelé's unique playing style combined speed, creativity, and technical skill with physical power, stamina, and athleticism. His excellent technique, balance, flair, agility, and dribbling skills enabled him to beat opponents with the ball, and frequently saw him use sudden changes of direction and elaborate feints in order to get past players, such as his trademark move, the drible da vaca.[78][62][82] Another one of his signature moves was the paradinha, or little stop.[note 3][83]

In spite of his relatively small stature, 1.73 metres (5.7 ft),[84] he excelled in the air, due to his heading accuracy and elevation.[73][76][82] Renowned for his bending shots, he was also an accurate free-kick taker, and penalty taker, although he often refrained from taking penalties, stating that he believed it to be a cowardly way to score.[85][86]

Reception and legacy

"Pelé is the greatest player of all time. He reigned supreme for 20 years. All the others – Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini – rank beneath him. There's no one to compare with Pelé."
—West Germany's 1974 World Cup-winning captain Franz Beckenbauer.[45]
"Pelé was one of the few who contradicted my theory: instead of 15 minutes of fame, he will have 15 centuries."
Andy Warhol.[19]
"My name is Ronald Reagan, I'm the President of the United States of America. But you don't need to introduce yourself, because everyone knows who Pelé is."
—US President Ronald Reagan, greeting Pelé at the White House.[19]

Pelé is one of the most lauded players in history and is frequently ranked the best player ever.[87][88][89] Among his contemporaries, Dutch star Johan Cruyff stated; "Pelé was the only footballer who surpassed the boundaries of logic."[19] Brazil's 1970 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Carlos Alberto Torres opined; "His great secret was improvisation. Those things he did were in one moment. He had an extraordinary perception of the game."[19] Tostão, his strike partner at the 1970 World Cup; "Pelé was the greatest – he was simply flawless. And off the pitch he is always smiling and upbeat. You never see him bad-tempered. He loves being Pelé."[19] His Brazilian teammate Clodoaldo commented on the adulation he witnessed; "In some countries they wanted to touch him, in some they wanted to kiss him. In others they even kissed the ground he walked on. I thought it was beautiful, just beautiful."[19] Former Real Madrid and Hungary star Ferenc Puskás stated; "The greatest player in history was Di Stefano. I refuse to classify Pelé as a player. He was above that."[19]

Just Fontaine, French striker and leading scorer at the 1958 World Cup; "When I saw Pelé play, it made me feel I should hang up my boots."[19] England's 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore commented: "Pelé was the most complete player I've ever seen, he had everything. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Quick. Powerful. Could beat people with skill. Could outrun people. Only five feet and eight inches tall, yet he seemed a giant of an athlete on the pitch. Perfect balance and impossible vision. He was the greatest because he could do anything and everything on a football pitch. I remember Saldhana the coach being asked by a Brazilian journalist who was the best goalkeeper in his squad. He said Pelé. The man could play in any position".[73] Former Manchester United striker and member of England's 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning team Sir Bobby Charlton stated; "I sometimes feel as though football was invented for this magical player."[19] During the 1970 World Cup, a British television commentator asked; "How do you spell Pelé?", with the response; "Easy: G-O-D."[19]

After retirement

1969 Brazil stamp commemorating Pelé's landmark 1,000th goal

Since retiring, Pelé has continued to be lauded by players, coaches, journalists and others. Brazilian attacking midfielder Zico, who represented Brazil at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cup, stated; "This debate about the player of the century is absurd. There's only one possible answer: Pelé. He's the greatest player of all time, and by some distance I might add".[45] French three time Balon D'or winner Michel Platini said; "There's Pelé the man, and then Pelé the player. And to play like Pelé is to play like God." Joint FIFA Player of the Century, Argentina's 1986 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona stated; "It's too bad we never got along, but he was an awesome player".[45] Prolific Brazilian striker Romário, winner of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and player of the tournament; "It's only inevitable I look up to Pelé. He's like a God to us".[45] Four-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo said: "Pelé is the greatest player in football history, and there will only be one Pelé", while José Mourinho, two-time UEFA Champions League winning manager, commented; "I think he is football. You have the real special one – Mr. Pelé."[90] Real Madrid honorary president and former player, Alfredo Di Stéfano, opined; "The best player ever? Pelé. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both great players with specific qualities, but Pelé was better".[91]

Presenting Pelé a lifetime achievement award, former South African president Nelson Mandela said; "To watch him play was to watch the delight of a child combined with the extraordinary grace of a man in full."[92] US politician and political scientist Henry Kissinger stated, "Performance at a high level in any sport is to exceed the ordinary human scale. But Pelé's performance transcended that of the ordinary star by as much as the star exceeds ordinary performance."[93] After a reporter asked if his fame compared to that of Jesus, Pelé in response quipped, "There are parts of the world where Jesus Christ is not so well known."[70]

In 1999, the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) voted Pelé the World Player of the Century. That same year, the International Olympic Committee elected him the Athlete of the Century. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful league goal-scorer in the world, scoring 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and tour games. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the highest-paid athlete in the world. Pelé's "electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals" made him a star around the world. To take full advantage of his popularity, his team Santos toured internationally.[32] During his career, he became known as "The Black Pearl" (A Pérola Negra), "The King of Football" (O Rei do Futebol), "The King Pelé" (O Rei Pelé) or simply "The King" (O Rei).[6]

Personal life

A practicing Catholic, Pelé donated a signed jersey to Pope Francis. Accompanied with a signed football from Ronaldo, it is located in one of the Vatican Museums

On 21 February 1966, Pelé married Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi.[94] They had two daughters and one son: Kelly Cristina (born 13 January 1967), who married Dr. Arthur DeLuca, Jennifer (b. 1978), and their son Edson ("Edinho", b. 27 August 1970). The couple divorced in 1982.[95] In 1977, Brazilian media reported that Pelé had his right kidney removed.[96]

From 1981 to 1986, Pelé was romantically linked with the TV presenter Xuxa, and was seen as influential move in launching her career. She was 17 when they started dating.[97] In April 1994, Pelé married psychologist and gospel singer Assíria Lemos Seixas, who gave birth on 28 September 1996 to twins Joshua and Celeste through fertility treatments. The couple divorced in 2008.

Pelé had at least two more children from former affairs. Sandra Machado, who was born from an affair Pelé had in 1964 with her housemaid Anizia Machado, fought for years to be acknowledged by Pelé, who refused to submit to DNA tests.[98][99][100] Although she was recognized by courts as his biologically daughter based on DNA evidence in 1993, Pelé never acknowledged his eldest daughter even after her death in 2006, nor her two children, Octavio and Gabriel.[99][100] Pelé also had another daughter, Flávia Kurtz, in an extramarital affair in 1968 with journalist Lenita Kurtz. Flávia was recognized by him as his daughter.[98]

At the age of 73, Pelé announced his intention to marry 41-year-old Marcia Aoki, a Japanese-Brazilian importer of medical equipment from Penápolis, São Paulo, whom he has been dating since 2010. They first met in the mid-1980s in New York, before meeting again in 2008.[101][102] In 1970, Pelé was investigated by the Brazilian military dictatorship for suspected leftist sympathies. Declassified documents showed Pelé was investigated after being handed a manifesto calling for the release of political prisoners. Pelé himself did not get further involved within political struggles in the country.[103] He has been criticized in the public opinion for his conservative views.[104] In June 2013, he was criticized in the public opinion for his conservative views. During the Brazilian protests. Pelé asked for people to "forget the demonstrations" and support the Brazil national team.[105] In November 2012, Pelé underwent a successful hip operation.[106] In May 2014, his son Edinho was jailed for 33 years for laundering money from drug trafficking.[107] Pelé has stated in 2013 that he is a Catholic.[108]

After football

Pelé at the White House on 10 September 1986, with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Brazil President José Sarney

In 1994, Pelé was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.[109] In 1995, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso appointed Pelé to the position of Extraordinary Minister for Sport. During this time he proposed legislation to reduce corruption in Brazilian football, which became known as the "Pelé law."[110] Pelé left his position in 2001 after he was accused of involvement in a corruption scandal that stole $700,000 from UNICEF. It was claimed that money given to Pelé's company for a benefit match was not returned after it was cancelled, although nothing was proven, and it was denied by UNICEF.[111][112] In 1997, he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace.[113] Pelé also helped inaugurate the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, alongside supermodel Claudia Schiffer.[60]

Pelé, Brazil's Extraordinary Minister for Sport, with US President Bill Clinton in Rio de Janeiro, 15 October 1997

In 1993, Pelé publicly accused the Brazilian football administrator Ricardo Teixeira of corruption after Pelé's television company was rejected in a contest for the Brazilian domestic rights to the 1994 World Cup.[114] Pelé accusations led to an eight-year feud between the pair.[115] As a consequence of the affair, the President of FIFA, João Havelange banned Pelé from the draw for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in Las Vegas. Criticisms over the ban were perceived to have negatively affected Havelange's chances of re-election as FIFA's president in 1994.[114]

Pelé has published several autobiographies, starred in documentary films, and composed musical pieces, including the soundtrack for the film Pelé in 1977.[116] He appeared in the 1981 film Escape to Victory, about a World War II-era football match between Allied prisoners of war and a German team. Pelé starred alongside other footballers of the 1960s and 1970s, with actors Michael Caine, and Sylvester Stallone.[117] in 1969, Pelé starred in a telenovela called Os Estranhos, about first contact with aliens. It was created to drum up interest in the Apollo missions.[118] In 2001, had a cameo role in the satire film, Mike Bassett: England Manager.[119]

Brazil President Lula and Pelé in commemoration of 50 years since the first World Cup title won by Brazil in 1958, at the Palácio do Planalto, 2008

In November 2007, Pelé was in Sheffield, England to mark the 150th anniversary of the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F.C.[120] Pelé was the guest of honour at Sheffield's anniversary match against Inter Milan, which Inter won 5–2 at Bramall Lane.[120] As part of his visit, Pelé opened an exhibition which included the first public showing in 40 years of the original hand-written rules of football.[120] Pelé scouted for Premier League club Fulham in 2002.[121] He made the draw for the qualification groups for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals.[122] On 1 August 2010, Pelé was introduced as the Honorary President of a revived New York Cosmos, aiming to field a team in Major League Soccer.[123] In August 2011, ESPN reported that Santos were considering bringing him out of retirement for a cameo role in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, although this later turned out to be false.[124]

The most notable area of Pelé's life since football is his ambassadorial work. In 1992, he was appointed a UN ambassador for ecology and the environment.[125] He was also awarded Brazil's Gold Medal for outstanding services to the sport in 1995. In 2012, Pelé was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh for "significant contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes, as well as his sporting achievements".[126]

On 12 August 2012, Pelé was an attendee at the 2012 Olympic hunger summit hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, London, part of a series of international efforts which have sought to respond to the return of hunger as a high-profile global issue.[127][128] Later on the same day, Pelé appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, following the handover section to the next host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro.[129] In March 2016, Pelé filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking US$30 million in damages claiming violations under the Lanham Act for false endorsement and a state law claim for violation of his right of publicity.[130] The suit alleged, that at one point Samsung and Pelé came close to entering into a licensing agreement for Pelé to appear in a Samsung advertising campaign. Samsung abruptly pulled out of the negotiations. The October 2015 Samsung ad in question, included a partial face shot of a man who allegedly "very closely resembles" Pelé and also a superimposed high-definition television screen next to the image of the man featuring a "modified bicycle or scissors-kick", perfected and famously used by Pelé.[130]

Honours

International

Brazil

Club

Santos

New York Cosmos

Individual

In December 2000, Pelé and Maradona shared the prize of FIFA Player of the Century by FIFA.[157] The award was originally intended to be based upon votes in a web poll, but after it became apparent that it favoured Diego Maradona, many observers complained that the Internet nature of the poll would have meant a skewed demographic of younger fans who would have seen Maradona play, but not Pelé. FIFA then appointed a "Family of Football" committee of FIFA members to decide the winner of the award together with the votes of the readers of the FIFA Magazine. The committee chose Pelé. Since Maradona was winning the Internet poll, however, it was decided he and Pelé should share the award.[158]

Personal records

Career statistics

Club

Pelé's goalscoring record is often reported by FIFA as being 1281 goals in 1363 games.[45] This figure includes goals scored by Pelé in friendly club matches, like international tours Pelé completed with Santos and the New York Cosmos, and a few games Pelé played in for the Brazilian armed forces teams during his national service in Brazil.[166] He was listed in the Guinness World Records for most career goals scored in football his goalscoring record.[167]

The tables below record every goal Pelé scored in major club competitions for Santos and the New York Cosmos.

Club Season Campeonato Paulista Rio-São Paulo[note 6] Campeonato Brasileiro Série A[note 7] Domestic competitions
Sub-total
International Competitions Total
Official
Total inc.
Friendlies
Copa Libertadores Intercontinental Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Santos 1956 0* 0* 1 1 1 1 2* 2*
1957 14+15* 19+17*[note 8][note 9] 9 5 38* 41* 38* 41* 67* 57*
1958 38 58 8 8 46 66 46* 66* 60* 80*
1959[171] 32 45 7 6 4* 2* 39 51 43* 53* 83* 100*
1960[172] 30 33 3 0 0 0 33 33 0 0 0 0 33* 33* 67* 59*
1961 26 47 7 8 5* 7 33 55 0 0 0 0 38* 62* 74* 110*
1962 26 37 0 0 5* 2* 26 37 4* 4* 2 5 37* 48* 50* 62*
1963[173] 19 22 8 14 4* 8 27 36 4* 5* 1 2 36 51* 52* 67*
1964 21 34 4 3 6* 7 25 37 0* 0* 0 0 31* 44* 47* 57*
1965 30 49 7 5 4* 2* 37 54 7* 8 0 0 48* 64* 66* 97*
1966 14 13 0* 0* 5* 2* 14* 13* 0 0 0 0 19* 15* 38* 31*
1967 18 17 14* 9* 32* 26* 0 0 0 0 32* 26* 65* 56*
1968 21 17 17* 11* 38* 28* 0 0 0 0 38* 28* 73* 55*
1969 25 26 12* 12* 37* 38* 0 0 0 0 37* 38* 61* 57*
1970 15 7 13* 4* 28* 11* 0 0 0 0 28* 11* 54* 47*
1971 19 8 21 1 40 9 0 0 0 0 40 9 72* 60*
1972 20 9 16 5 36 14 0 0 0 0 36 14 74* 55*
1973 19 11 30 19 49 30 0 0 0 0 49 30 66* 45*
1974 10 1 17 9 27 10 0 0 0 0 27 10 49* 19*
Total 412 470 53 49 173* 100* 638* 619* 15 17[note 10] 3 7 656 643 1120 1033*
  • * Indicates that the number was deducted from the list of rsssf.com and this list of Pelé games.
Club Season League Post season Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
NY Cosmos 1975 9 5 14 10 23 15
1976 22 13 2 2 18 11 42 26
1977 25 13 6 4 11 6 42 23
Total 56 31 8 6 43 27 107 64

International

Pelé is the top scorer of the Brazil national football team with 77 goals in 92 official appearances.[45] In addition, he scored 18 times in 22 unofficial games. This makes an unofficial total of 114 games and 95 goals. He also scored 12 goals and is credited with 10 assists in 14 World Cup appearances, including 4 goals and 7 assists in 1970.[12] Pelé shares with Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose the achievement of being the only three footballers to have scored in four separate World Cup tournaments.[174]

# Date Venue Home Result Visitor Competition Goals Goals so far
1. 7 July 1957 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1–2  Argentina Roca Cup 1 1
2. 10 July 1957 São Paulo  Brazil 2–0  Argentina Roca Cup 1 2
3. 4 May 1958 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 5–1  Paraguay Oswaldo Cruz Cup 1 3
4. 14 May 1958 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 4–0  Bulgaria Friendly 0 3
5. 18 May 1958 São Paulo  Brazil 3–1  Bulgaria Friendly 2 5
6. 15 June 1958 Gothenburg  Brazil 2–0  Soviet Union World Cup 0 5
7. 19 June 1958 Gothenburg  Brazil 1–0  Wales World Cup 1 6
8. 24 June 1958 Stockholm  Brazil 5–2  France World Cup 3 9
9. 29 June 1958 Stockholm  Brazil 5–2  Sweden World Cup 2 11
10. 10 March 1959 Buenos Aires  Brazil 2–2  Peru Copa América 1 12
11. 15 March 1959 Buenos Aires  Brazil 3–0  Chile Copa América 2 14
12. 21 March 1959 Buenos Aires  Brazil 4–2  Bolivia Copa América 1 15
13. 26 March 1959 Buenos Aires  Brazil 3–1  Uruguay Copa América 0 15
14. 29 March 1959 Buenos Aires  Brazil 4–1  Paraguay Copa América 3 18
15. 4 April 1959 Buenos Aires  Argentina 1–1  Brazil Copa América 1 19
16. 13 May 1959 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–0  England Friendly 0 19
17. 17 September 1959 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 7–0  Chile O'Higgins Cup 3 22
18. 20 September 1959 São Paulo  Brazil 1–0  Chile O'Higgins Cup 0 22
19. 29 April 1960 Cairo  United Arab Republic 0–5  Brazil Friendly 0 22
20. 1 May 1960 Alexandria  United Arab Republic 1–3  Brazil Friendly 3 25
21. 6 May 1960 Cairo  United Arab Republic 0–3  Brazil Friendly 0 25
22. 10 May 1960 Copenhagen  Denmark 3–4  Brazil Friendly 0 25
23. 9 July 1960 Montevideo  Uruguay 0–1  Brazil Atlantic Cup 0 25
24. 12 July 1960 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 5–1  Argentina Atlantic Cup 1 26
25. 21 April 1962 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 6–0  Paraguay Oswaldo Cruz Cup 1 27
26. 24 April 1962 São Paulo  Brazil 4–0  Paraguay Oswaldo Cruz Cup 2 29
27. 6 May 1962 São Paulo  Brazil 2–1  Portugal Friendly 0 29
28. 9 May 1962 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1–0  Portugal Friendly 1 30
29. 12 May 1962 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 3–1  Wales Friendly 1 31
30. 16 May 1962 São Paulo  Brazil 3–1  Wales Friendly 2 33
31. 30 May 1962 Viña del Mar  Brazil 2–0  Mexico World Cup 1 34
32. 2 June 1962 Viña del Mar  Brazil 0–0  Czechoslovakia World Cup 0 34
33. 13 April 1963 São Paulo  Brazil 2–3  Argentina Roca Cup 0 34
34. 16 April 1963 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 5–2  Argentina Roca Cup 3 37
35. 21 April 1963 Lisbon  Portugal 1–0  Brazil Friendly 0 37
36. 28 April 1963 Paris  France 2–3  Brazil Friendly 3 40
37. 2 May 1963 Amsterdam  Netherlands 1–0  Brazil Friendly 0 40
38. 5 May 1963 Hamburg  West Germany 1–2  Brazil Friendly 1 41
39. 12 May 1963 Milan  Italy 3–0  Brazil Friendly 0 41
40. 30 May 1964 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 5–1  England Taça das Nações 1 42
41. 3 June 1964 São Paulo  Brazil 0–3  Argentina Taça das Nações 0 42
42. 7 June 1964 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 4–1  Portugal Taça das Nações 1 43
43. 2 June 1965 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 5–0  Belgium Friendly 3 46
44. 6 June 1965 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–0  West Germany Friendly 1 47
45. 9 June 1965 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 0–0  Argentina Friendly 0 47
46. 17 June 1965 Orano  Algeria 0–3  Brazil Friendly 1 48
47. 24 June 1965 Porto  Portugal 0–0  Brazil Friendly 0 48
48. 30 June 1965 Stockholm  Sweden 1–2  Brazil Friendly 1 49
49. 4 July 1965 Moscow  Soviet Union 0–3  Brazil Friendly 2 51
50. 21 November 1965 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–2  Soviet Union Friendly 1 52
51. 19 May 1966 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1–0  Chile Friendly 0 52
52. 4 June 1966 São Paulo  Brazil 4–0  Peru Friendly 1 53
53. 8 June 1966 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–1  Poland Friendly 0 53
54. 12 June 1966 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–1  Czechoslovakia Friendly 2 55
55. 15 June 1966 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–2  Czechoslovakia Friendly 1 56
56. 25 June 1966 Glasgow  Scotland 1–1  Brazil Friendly 0 56
57. 30 June 1966 Göteborg  Sweden 2–3  Brazil Friendly 0 56
58. 12 July 1966 Liverpool  Brazil 2–0  Bulgaria World Cup 1 57
59. 19 July 1966 Liverpool  Portugal 3–1  Brazil World Cup 0 57
60. 25 July 1968 Asunción  Paraguay 0–4  Brazil Oswaldo Cruz Cup 2 59
61. 28 July 1968 Asunción  Paraguay 1–0  Brazil Oswaldo Cruz Cup 0 59
62. 31 October 1968 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1–2  Mexico Friendly 0 59
63. 3 November 1968 Belo Horizonte  Brazil 2–1  Mexico Friendly 1 60
64. 6 November 1968 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2-1 FIFA XI Friendly 0 60
65. 14 December 1968 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–2  West Germany Friendly 0 60
66. 17 December 1968 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 3–3  Yugoslavia Friendly 1 61
67. 7 April 1969 Porto Alegre  Brazil 2–1  Peru Friendly 0 61
68. 9 April 1969 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 3–2  Peru Friendly 1 62
69. 12 June 1969 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–1  England Friendly 0 62
70. 6 August 1969 Bogotá  Colombia 0–2  Brazil World Cup Qualifiers 0 62
71. 10 August 1969 Caracas  Venezuela 0–5  Brazil World Cup Qualifiers 2 64
72. 17 August 1969 Asunción  Paraguay 0–3  Brazil World Cup Qualifiers 0 64
73. 21 August 1969 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 6–2  Colombia World Cup Qualifiers 1 65
74. 24 August 1969 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 6–0  Venezuela World Cup Qualifiers 2 67
75. 31 August 1969 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1–0  Paraguay World Cup Qualifiers 1 68
76. 4 March 1970 Porto Alegre  Brazil 0–2  Argentina Friendly 0 68
77. 8 March 1970 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–1  Argentina Friendly 1 69
78. 22 March 1970 São Paulo  Brazil 5–0  Chile Friendly 2 71
79. 26 March 1970 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–1  Chile Friendly 0 71
80. 12 April 1970 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 0–0  Paraguay Friendly 0 71
81. 26 April 1970 São Paulo  Brazil 0–0  Bulgaria Friendly 0 71
82. 29 April 1970 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1–0  Austria Friendly 0 71
83. 3 June 1970 Guadalajara  Brazil 4–1  Czechoslovakia World Cup 1 72
84. 7 June 1970 Guadalajara  Brazil 1–0  England World Cup 0 72
85. 10 June 1970 Guadalajara  Brazil 3–2  Romania World Cup 2 74
86. 14 June 1970 Guadalajara  Brazil 4–2  Peru World Cup 0 74
87. 17 June 1970 Guadalajara  Brazil 3–1  Uruguay World Cup 0 74
88. 21 June 1970 Mexico City  Brazil 4–1  Italy World Cup 1 75
89. 30 September 1970 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–1  Mexico Friendly 0 75
90. 4 October 1970 Santiago de Chile  Chile 1–5  Brazil Friendly 1 76
91. 11 July 1971 São Paulo  Brazil 1–1  Austria Friendly 1 77
92. 18 July 1971 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2–2  Yugoslavia Friendly 0 77

Source: [58]

Team Year Tournament Friendly Total Goal average
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brazil 1957 2 2 0 0 2 2 1.00
1958 4 6 3 3 7 9 1.13
1959 8 11 1 0 9 11 1.22
1960 2 1 4 1 6 2 0.89
1961 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
1962 4 4 4 4 8 8 1.00
1963 2 3 5 4 7 7 0.88
1964 3 2 0 0 3 2 0.67
1965 0 0 8 9 8 9 1.13
1966 2 1 7 4 9 5 0.85
1967 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
1968 0 0 7 4 7 4 0.63
1969 6 6 3 1 9 7 0.71
1970 6 4 9 4 15 8 0.57
1971 0 0 2 1 2 1 0.50
Total 41 43 51 34 92 77 0.84
Career total (incl. unofficial matches)[175] 41 43 69 56 114 95 0.83

Summary

Pelé numbers differ between sources mostly due to friendly games. The RSSSF states that Pelé scored 767 goals in 831 official games, 1281 goals in 1365 overall while he was active, and 1284 in 1375 taking into account benefit games after retirement.[160] The following table is a compendium of sources that include data from Santos and FIFA official websites among others.[176]

Matches Goals Ratio
Domestic Tournaments 702 656 0.94
International Tournaments 18 24 1.33
Brazil national football team 92 77 0.84
Official 812 757 0.93
Friendly matches and defunct Tournaments 554 526 0.95
Total 1366 1283 0.94
Matches Goals Ratio
International matches (Official and Friendlies) 503 479 0.95
Domestic matches (Official and Friendlies) 863 804 0.93
Total 1366 1283 0.94
Matches Goals Ratio
Santos FC[177] 1116 1091 0.98
New York Cosmos[177] 111 65 0.59
Brazil 114 95 0.83
Other 25 32 1.28
Total 1366 1283 0.94

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Pelé presummed that it was an insult since the word had no meaning in Portuguese. He discovered in the 2000s that the word meant miracle in Hebrew.[5]
  2. ^ The mark was surpassed by Northern Ireland's Norman Whiteside in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He scored his first World Cup goal against Wales in quarter-finals, the only goal of the match, to help Brazil advance to semifinals, while becoming the youngest ever World Cup goalscorer at 17 years and 239 days.[42]
  3. ^ Pelé would stop in the middle of a penalty kick before shooting to the ball. Goalkeepers complained that this gave strikers an unfair advantage. In the 1970s, FIFA banned this rule from competition.[83]
  4. ^ The 1964 Torneio Rio-São Paulo was held jointly with Botafogo.[139]
  5. ^ The 1973 Paulista was held jointly with Portuguesa.[140]
  6. ^ Soccer Europe compiled this list from The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.[168]
  7. ^ Statistics from 1957 to 1974 for the Taça de Prata, Taça Brasil and Copa Libertadores were taken from Soccer Europe website. Soccer Europe lists The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation, but do not give a season-by-season breakdown.[169]
  8. ^ In 1957, the Paulista Championship was divided in two phases: Blue Series and White Series. In the first, Pelé scored 19 goals in 14 games, and in the Blue Series, scored 17 goals in 15 games. See [170]
  9. ^ This number was inferred from a Santos fixture list from rsssf.com and this list of games Pelé played.
  10. ^ Statistics from 1957 to 1974 for the Taça de Prata, Taça Brasil and Copa Libertadores were taken from Soccer Europe website. Soccer Europe lists The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation, but do not give a season-by-season breakdown.[169]

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Bibliography

External links