While the British might have given soccer to the world, it was the Brazilians who truly perfected the art. The nation has won the World Cup more than any other team, and the biggest star in the nation’s history is undoubtedly soccer legend Pele. The great forward is considered one of the greatest of all time, and here are some of his amazing accomplishments.
Pele was just 15 years old when he signed for the Brazilian soccer side Santos, and he didn’t waste any time in making an impression on his new fans. The star scored four goals for Santos on his debut, and it was the perfect way to introduce himself. Pele scoring goals was something the Santos fans were going to get used to seeing, as he is recognized for scoring 1,283 goals during his career.
In fact, when Pele scored his 1000th goal, in a game for Santos, the fans stormed the pitch after the ball hit the back of the net. After 30 minutes of wild celebrations, the game finally resumed as the fans returned to their seats.
An undeniable talent
Pele made his Santos debut at a very young age, and he stood out so much that he was put in the Brazil squad to play at the World Cup in 1958 at just 17 years old. During the tournament, it was clear that Pele was a special talent, and with him in the team, Brazil reached the final.
Pele became the youngest player to win the World Cup, and he even scored twice in the final to make sure his nation was victorious. The forward would go on to win three World Cup tournaments and score 12 goals throughout his career at the prestigious competition.
Born to score goals
After scoring over 1,000 goals in his career, it was pretty clear where Pele’s strength was. The soccer star seemed to be so determined to score goals that he was disappointed if he didn’t get at least two in a match. Because of his desire to get the ball in the goal, he has some impressive scoring records that may never be beaten.
Pele scored a hattrick (three goals in one game) in 92 different matches, scored four goals in 31 games, five goals six times, and even registered eight goals in one game. That’s some pretty impressive records for a boy who used to play soccer on the streets of Brazil with no shoes and rolled up socks as a ball.
Pele’s love of the sport helped bring people together as they could all celebrate his brilliance on the soccer field. The star has worked with UNICEF for many years, helping bring aid to some of the world’s poorest regions.
He has also starred in several movies and became the star attraction of the New York Cosmos in the 1970s. Pele was convinced by Cosmos general manager, Clive Toye, to come to the United States to win the hearts of the country, instead of winning championships in Europe.