||23 Oct 1940
and 1970 (record)
Arantes do Nascimento, or better known as Pelè was born October
23rd 1940. He went on to become perhaps the best player of all time. He
made his senior debut for Santos in 1956, a month before his 16th birthday
and ten months later he played for Brazil against Argentina. Pelè
missed the first two matches of the 1958 World Cup, before making his debut
against Russia. His first World Cup goal came in the 1-0 quarter -final
win over Wales and he scored a hat-trick in the semifinal against France and two more
in the final over host nation Sweden. At 17, Pelé became the youngest ever winner of the
Brazil defended the title four years later in Chile, but Pelé was injured early on
and missed most of the tournament. Injuries also plagued him in 1966 as Brazil were
eliminated already in the first round, but in 1970 he was back on top of his game
leading Brazil to a record third title. Pelé was excellent and partnered by Rivelino,
Jairzinho and Tostao, Brazil formed perhaps the best team ever.
Scoring goals was Pelè's trademark, but he was also a clever, quick-thinking
player who could create goals for others. He scored a remarkable 77 goals
for Brazil in 92 appearances, and various sources suggest that he netted
1281 in 1363 senior games overall. He played his final game for Santos
in 1974, but was persuaded out of retirement the following year when he
joined NASL club, New York Cosmos in a $4.000.000 deal. He played his last
game for Cosmos in 1977 in front of 75.646 fans.
Pele has achieved more than any other player in the World Cup history.
Surprisingly he hasn't been topscorer in either of the four World Cups
he played in, but he is on third place of the all-time topscorers table
with his 12 goals. His proudest record must be the fact that he is the
only player who has won three World Cups.
| 1958 | 1962
| 1966 | 1970
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