Happy birthday Pele: A look at his extraordinary career
Almost every person, on the earth, who follows football knows that Pele is the ultimate stop when it comes to defining the word 'King'. He rules alone at the top of the world with his innumerable accomplishments, records, and titles achieved during his football career. Here is a look at key moments of his career which have come to define his legacy.
The numerous records held by the legend
Pele has scored the most number of goals ever by a player- 1,283 including 77 strikes for Selecao, making him Brazil's highest goal-scorer. Signed by Santos when 15, Pele solidified his name by scoring 4 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.
Trying to decode his style of play
It was solely upon Pele to make football 'The Beautiful Game' as it is known today. He had everything a player could dream of- control, technical prowess, finishing, dribbling, and shooting. Throughout his career, he operated as a playmaker as well as a goal-scorer, using his skills to achieve victories for his teams. His balance and dribbles were unlike anything the world had seen.
The numerous awards won by the legend
Pele won three World Cups with Brazil- 1958, 1962, and 1970. He also won the Copa Libertadores with Santos on two occasions- 1962 and 1963. Pele was named FIFA Player of The Century along with Diego Maradona in 2000. TIME included him among the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Britain gave him an honorary knighthood in 1997.
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 goal-keeper 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.