Decoding the career achievements of Pele
Arguably the greatest footballer to have graced the game, Pele passed away aged 82. The Brazil football legend breathed his last on Friday (December 30). Pele, who had been battling with health issues for the past few years, was admitted to a hospital in Sao Paulo earlier this month. Meanwhile, here we look at the prominent records and achievements of the Brazilian talisman.
Pele's sensational numbers at the FIFA World Cup
Pele won three FIFA World Cup honors in 1958, 1962, and 1970 respectively. Pele managed 12 goals for Brazil at the FIFA World Cup which is the second-highest tally after Ronaldo (15). Pele scored in four World Cups and shares the record with Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have a better record (5 World Cups).
Highest goal-scorer, youngest World Cup winner
Pele has scored the most number of goals ever by a player- 1,283 including 77 strikes for Selecao. Signed by Serie-A club Santos at the age of 15, Pele solidified his name by scoring four goals on his league debut. Pele is the youngest-ever World Cup winner, which he won in 1958 when he was 17, scoring twice in the final.
Pele is the joint-all-time leading scorer for Brazil
Pele, along with Neymar, is Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals (92 games). He is one of the few players to have scored 75-plus goals in international football. Notably, Pele brought an end to his international football career in 1977.
Youngest to score a World Cup hat-trick
Pele's only World Cup hat-trick was recorded in the 1958 edition when he was a 17-year-old sensation. He is still the youngest to record a WC hat-trick. It came in a crucial semi-final fixture against France as Brazil won 5-2.
Sensational run at Santos
Pele served Santos for almost two decades, from 1956 to 1974, scoring 643 'official' goals in at least 659 games. He continues to be the highest goal-scorer for the Brazilian club. He won six Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A titles, two Copa Libertadores, and two Intercontinental Cup trophies with Santos. Besides Santos, he also netted 64 strikes in 107 games for the New York Cosmos.
Most hat-tricks, most WC assists
Pele also holds the record for scoring the most hat-tricks in professional football. He has as many as 92 hat-tricks under his belt. The Brazilian's record of 10 assists in World Cups is also the highest for any player.
A look at the illustrious awards won by Pele
In January 2014, Pele was awarded the first-ever FIFA Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur. He was honored with Brazil's gold medal for his services to the sport in 1995. Pele was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit in 1984. In 2000, he was named the FIFA Player of the Century. His brilliance at the 1970 World Cup earned him the Golden Ball award.
Interesting facts from the icon's life
Pele starred in the Hollywood movie 'Escape to Victory' alongside Bobby Moore, Michael Caine, and Sylvester Stallone. He was named Pele by one of his classmates because his favorite goalkeeper was Bile, whose name he always mispronounced as 'Pile'. BBC named him the second Best Sportsman of the Century, only after Muhammad Ali. Brazil remained unbeaten when Pele and Garrincha played together.