Pelé was a hero to so many, the name always quoted when any age group discussed who was the Greatest of ALL time (GOAT). For me I never got to see his football live or even live on the TV but I got to see it over the years. Some of the greatest world cup moments still repeated today feature this great man and for me he was the greatest footballer EVER. He was also (to me) the 2nd greatest sportsman, being pushed into the silver medal spot only by Muhammad Ali.
For those who don't know him here are some facts. Edson Arantes do Nascimento (23 October 1940 – 29 December 2022), known by his nickname Pelé (Portuguese pronunciation: [peˈlɛ]), was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. He discovered in the 2000s that the word meant "miracle" in Hebrew.
Available on totalposter.com
Pelé began playing for Santos (Brazil) at age 15 and made his debut for his country Brazil at just 16. During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups, 1958, 1962 and 1970, the only player to do so. Pelé is still the joint top goal scorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games (shared with Neymar). Pelé was adept at striking the ball with either foot in addition to anticipating his opponents' movements on the field. While predominantly a striker, he could also drop deep and take on a playmaking role, providing assists with his vision and passing ability, and he would also use his dribbling skills to go past opponents.
At club level, he was Santos' all-time top goal scorer with 643 goals in only 659 games and he led the club to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores, and also to the 1962 and 1963 Intercontinental Cup. Credited with connecting the phrase "The Beautiful Game" with football, Pelé's "electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals" made him a star around the world. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world. After retiring in 1977, Pelé was a worldwide ambassador for football and had several acting roles, many will remember his participation in the movie Escape to Victory (1981), alongside Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine.
In 1999, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the Century. He was also voted Greatest Player of the 20th Century, by World Soccer. His accolades would take a book rather than a blog but he still holds the record for most goals in a calendar year with 127 and the most hat-tricks in world football with 92. His 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which includes friendlies, is also recognised as a Guinness World Record. He was also 7 times a winner of the Ballon D'or.
Available at totalposter.com
As a man though he often made his biggest mark on people, showing grace and humility to everyone and being remembered for his class. He represented his nation, football and sport with such dignity and will always be remembered as one of the greatest.
Available at totalposter.com
RIP Pelé and thanks for the amazing memories, goals, World Cups and all of the amazing things you did for humanity such as FIFA Ambassador against racism, the great work he undertook for UNICEF children's charities and of course his work at the spearhead of the Rio de Janeiro bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. He launched his own charitable foundation in 2018 and was well known for charity work for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Soccer Aid.
The Greatest of ALL time. RIP