There’s always debate about who’s the greatest football player of all time. Pele was the first to be unanimously awarded that title and those who’ve seen him play call him the finest ever.
For starters, he is the only player in the world to win 3 FIFA World Cups. He burst onto the scene in the 1958 World Cup as a 17-year old and was instrumental in his country’s first World Cup win. Two more titles followed in 1962 and 1970, with Pele being adjudged the best player at the 1970 World Cup. Not to forget, that the 1970 World Cup winning side is considered to be the best international football team.
In addition to his stupendous skill with the ball, Pele was a feared goal-scorer as his record shows. According to International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), Pele scored 1281 goals in 1363 games at the club-level. He is still Brazil’s all-time leading scorer despite the country producing some great attacking talents like Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Neymar.
Pele’s stardom coincided with FIFA expanding the sport greatly and the Brazilian became a global megastar. ‘The Black Pearl’ served as a global ambassador for the sport and his teams used to tour multiple international locations to play friendly games. After his retirement in 1977, Pele also appeared in a Hollywood film Escape To Victory alongside Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and fellow football player, Bobby Moore.
Despite never playing for a European club, Pele’s legacy remains as strong as ever. For all of the modern football greats, he is the ghost to chase as the dreams of emulating him reverberate in every football player on the planet.