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Who was Pele and why was he so important in the world of football?

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Pele Brazilian footballer
The legendary Pele posing with three trophies he won with team Brazil in three World Cups. Photo by DW
  • Pelé’s legacy remains as the world’s greatest footballer
  • His football journey started when he was 15
  • He won three World Cups for Brazil

Pelé is a retired Brazilian footballer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Brazil, he began playing professional football at the age of 15 and quickly rose to fame due to his impressive skills and goal-scoring ability.

Pelé’s greatest moments in football came during his time with the Brazilian national team and his club team, Santos FC. He won three World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962, and 1970, and is the only player to have achieved this feat. Pelé’s performances in these tournaments are considered some of the greatest in the history of the World Cup.

One of Pelé’s most memorable moments came in the 1958 World Cup, when he was just 17 years old. He helped lead Brazil to victory in the tournament, scoring two goals in the final match against Sweden. Pelé’s pace and dribbling ability were on full display in this match, as he danced around the Swedish defenders and scored two of Brazil’s five goals in a 5-2 victory.

Legendary Brazilian player

Legendary Brazilian player Pele. Photo by Los Angeles Times

In the 1962 World Cup, Pelé once again played a crucial role in Brazil’s success. He scored a hat-trick in the opening match against Mexico, and continued to score goals throughout the tournament. Pelé’s performances in this World Cup are often remembered for his impressive goalscoring ability, as he finished the tournament with a total of six goals.

Pelé’s final World Cup triumph came in 1970, when he led Brazil to a 4-1 victory over Italy in the final. This match is widely considered one of the greatest in the history of the World Cup, and Pelé’s performance was a key factor in Brazil’s victory. He scored a goal in the final and played a crucial role in setting up his teammates for goals as well.

In addition to his success with the Brazilian national team, Pelé also had a successful career with Santos FC. He played for the club for 18 seasons, scoring over 1,000 goals in his career. Pelé’s time with Santos is often remembered for the team’s impressive attacking style of play and their ability to score goals in impressive fashion.


Pele back in the day. Photo by Sports Illustrated

One of Pelé’s most memorable moments with Santos came in a match against Vasco da Gama in 1958. In this match, Pelé scored four goals in just 16 minutes, setting a record for the fastest hat-trick in the history of Brazilian football. This performance is still remembered as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.

Pelé’s impact on the sport of football cannot be overstated. He is considered one of the greatest players of all time, and his performances in the World Cup and with Santos FC will be remembered for generations to come. Pelé’s skill and goal-scoring ability made him a joy to watch for fans of the sport, and his legacy continues to inspire aspiring footballers to this day.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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