On 29 December 2022, Brazilian football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pelé, lost a battle with cancer at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo in his home country of Brazil at the age of 82.
The date will continue to be remembered as a dark day for football and everyone connected to football globally. From now onward, football matches played on this day and around this period will see football players and officials wear black armbands and observe a minute of silence in respect for Pelé – the king of football.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) recognizes Pelé on its official website as “The Greatest.” The status is somewhat unbeatable considering the achievements of the great football superstar for his country, club, and himself.
Pelé is on record to be the only football player in history to have won the World Cup three times. He achieved an unbelievable feat with his country Brazil in 1958, 1962, and 1970. He is also on record for his success with the Brazilian national team in 1958, when he lifted the World Cup at 17 years of age. Not only did he play in the World Cup with the Brazilian National Team at 17, but he also scored two goals in the final to defeat hosts Sweden.
Despite retiring from the game on 1 October 1977, Pelé remains Brazil’s joint all-time top scorer with 77 goals – a feat he achieved in just 92 games.
Announcing his death on Thursday, 29 December 2022, a message was posted on the legend’s official Twitter handle. It read, “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love, and love, forever.”
Pelé’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, who ensured that the world was informed of the updates on her father’s health since his admission to the hospital on 30 November 2022, confirmed the death of her father on Instagram, saying, “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
The government of Brazil has declared a three-day mourning period for the late Pelé.
Tributes have continued to pour in from all parts of the world, detailing the unmatchable achievements of the Brazilian superstar. Below, we have highlighted the top records set by Pelé during his playing career. Check them out:
Top Records Set By Pelé
• Won 3 World Cups with Brazil (1958, 1962, and 1970)
• Youngest player to score in a FIFA World Cup Final, 1958
• 12 Goals and 10 Assists in 14 World Cup Games
• FC Santos all-time highest goal scorer with 643 goals
• He Won the Brasileiro Serie A championship 6 times with FC Santos (1961, 1962, 1964, 1964, 1964, 1965, and 1968)
• Scored a total of 1,281 goals in 1,363 games for club and country during his career
• Won 10 Campeonato Paulista titles with FC Santos (1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1973)
• Won the Torneio Rio-Sao with FC Santos 4 times (1959, 1963, 1964, and 1966)
• Won 2 Copa Libertadores titles with FC Santos (1962 and 1963)
• 2 Intercontinental Cup winner with FC Santos (1962 and 1963)
• He won the Intercontinental Super Cup with FC Santos in 1968
• Won the NASL Soccer Bowl with the New York Cosmos in 1977
• He was named the Campeonato Paulista top scorer with Santos (1957, 1958, 199,1960, 1961,1962,1963, 1964,1965, 1969, 1973)
• FIFA World Cup Best Young Player with Brazil in 1958
• FIFA World Cup All-Star team (1958 and 1970)
• Best player and top scorer of the Copa America 1959
• Top scorer of the Intercontinental Cup in 1962 and 1963
• Top scorer of the Copa Libertadores in 1965
• South American Footballer of the Year in 1973
• NASL Most Valuable Player in 1976
• Member of the NASL All-Star team in 1975, 1976 and 1977
• A member of the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team since 1994
• Member of the World Team of the 20th Century
• IFFHS Best player of the 20th century
• IFFHS Best South American player of the 20th century
• FIFA Player of the 20th Century