Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈɛtsõ (w)ɐˈɾɐ̃tʃiz du nɐsiˈmẽtu]; born 23 October 1940), known as Pelé (Brazilian Portuguese: [pe̞ˈlɛ]), is a retired Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. Pelé has also been known for connecting the phrase "The Beautiful Game" with football. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). That year, France Football asked their former Ballon d'Or winners to choose the Football Player of the Century; they selected Pelé. In 1999, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the IOC. That year, Time named him in their list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In 2013, he received the FIFA Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur in recognition of his career and achievements as a global icon of football.
Pelé in 2008
|Born||Edson Arantes do Nascimento
23 October 1940 
Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Parent(s)||Dondinho, Celeste Arantes|
Association football career
According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful league goal-scorer in the world, scoring 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and tour games. He was listed in the Guinness World Records for most career goals scored in football for this. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world. In Brazil, he is hailed as a national hero for his accomplishments in football and for his outspoken support of policies that improve the social conditions of the poor. In 1961, Brazil President Jânio Quadros had Pelé declared a national treasure. During his career, he became known as "The Black Pearl" (A Pérola Negra), "The King of Football" (O Rei do Futebol), "The King Pelé" (O Rei Pelé) or simply "The King" (O Rei).
Pelé began playing for Santos at age 15 and the Brazil national football team at 16. During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1970, being the only player ever to do so. Pelé is the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games. At club level he is also the record goalscorer for Santos, and led them to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores. Pelé's "electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals" made him a star around the world, and his club team Santos toured internationally in order to take full advantage of his popularity. Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football and has made many acting and commercial ventures. In 2010, he was named the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos.
Pelé was born in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil, the son of Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born João Ramos do Nascimento) and Celeste Arantes. He was the elder of two siblings. He was named after the American inventor Thomas Edison. His parents decided to remove the "i" and call him "Edson", but there was a mistake on the birth certificate, leading many documents to show his name as "Edison", not "Edson", as he is called. He was originally nicknamed Dico by his family. He received the nickname "Pelé" during his school days, when it is claimed he was given it because of his pronunciation of the name of his favorite player, local Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bilé, which he misspoke but the more he complained the more it stuck. In his autobiography, Pelé stated he had no idea what the name means, nor did his old friends. Apart from the assertion that the name is derived from that of Bilé, and that it is Hebrew for "miracle" (פֶּ֫לֶא), the word has no known meaning in Portuguese.
Pelé grew up in poverty in Bauru in the state of São Paulo. He earned extra money by working in tea shops as a servant. Taught to play by his father, he could not afford a proper football and usually played with either a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a string or a grapefruit. He played for several amateur teams in his youth, including Sete de Setembro, Canto do Rio, São Paulinho, and Amériquinha. Pelé led Bauru Athletic Club juniors (coached by Waldemar de Brito) to three consecutive São Paulo state youth championships between 1954 and 1956. He also dominated Futebol de Salão (indoor football) competitions in the region and won several championships with local team Radium.
In 1956, de Brito took Pelé to Santos, an industrial and port city located near São Paulo, to try out for professional club Santos FC, telling the directors at Santos that the 15-year-old would be "the greatest football player in the world." Pelé impressed Santos coach Lula during his trial at the Estádio Vila Belmiro, and he signed a professional contract with the club in June 1956. Pelé was highly promoted in the local media as a future superstar. He made his senior team debut on 7 September 1956 at the age of 15 against Corinthians Santo Andre and had an impressive performance in a 7–1 victory, scoring the first of his record 1281 goals in football during the match.
When the 1957 season started, Pelé was given a starting place in the first team and, at the age of 16, became the top scorer in the league. Ten months after signing professionally, the teenager was called up to the Brazil national team. After the 1962 World Cup, wealthy European clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United tried to sign him, but the government of Brazil declared Pelé an "official national treasure" to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.
Pelé won his first major title with Santos in 1958 as the team won the Campeonato Paulista; Pelé would finish the tournament as top scorer with 58 goals, a record that stands today. A year later, he would help the team earn their first victory in the Torneio Rio-São Paulo with a 3–0 over Vasco da Gama. However, Santos was unable to retain the Paulista title. In 1960, Pelé scored 33 goals to help his team regain the Campeonato Paulista trophy but lost out on the Rio-São Paulo tournament after finishing in 8th place. Another 47 goals from Pelé saw Santos retain the Campeonato Paulista. The club went on to win the Taça Brasil that same year, beating Bahia in the finals; Pelé finished as top scorer of the tournament with nine goals. The victory allowed Santos to participate in the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club tournament in the Western hemisphere.
Santos's most successful club season started in 1962; the team was seeded in Group One alongside Cerro Porteño and Deportivo Municipal Bolivia, winning every match of their group but one (a 1–1 away tie vs Cerro), with Pelé scoring his first goal against Cerro. Santos defeated Universidad Católica in the semifinals and met defending champions Peñarol in the finals in which Pelé scored twice in the playoff match to secure the first title for a Brazilian club. Pelé finished as the second top scorer of the competition with four goals. That same year, Santos would successfully defend the Campeonato Brasileiro (with 37 goals from Pelé) and the Taça Brasil (Pelé scoring four goals in the final series against Botafogo). Santos would also win the 1962 Intercontinental Cup against Benfica. Wearing his number 10 shirt, Pelé produced one of the best performances of his career, scoring a hat-trick in Lisbon as Santos won 5–2.
As the defending champions, Santos qualified automatically to the semi-final stage of the 1963 Copa Libertadores. The ballet blanco managed to retain the title after victories over Botafogo and Boca Juniors. Pelé helped Santos overcome a Botafogo team that contained Brazilian legends such as Garrincha and Jairzinho with a last-minute goal in the first leg of the semi-finals which made it 1–1. In the second leg, Pelé scored a hat-trick in the Estádio do Maracanã as Santos won, 0–4, in the second leg. Santos started the final series by winning, 3–2, in the first leg and defeating Boca Juniors 1–2, in La Bombonera, with another goal from Pelé. Santos became the first (and to date the only) Brazilian team to lift the Copa Libertadores in Argentine soil. Pelé finished the tournament with 5 goals. Santos lost the Campeonato Paulista after finishing in third place but went on to win the Rio-São Paulo tournament after a 0–3 win over Flamengo in the final, with Pelé scoring one. Pelé would also help Santos retain the Intercontinental Cup and the Taça Brasil.
In the 1964 Copa Libertadores, Santos were beaten in both legs of the semi-finals by Independiente. The club won the Campeonato Paulista, with Pelé netting 34 goals. Santos also shared the Rio-São Paulo title with Botafogo and won the Taça Brasil for the fourth consecutive year. In the 1965 Copa Libertadores, Santos reached the semi-finals and met Peñarol in a rematch of the 1962 final. After two matches, a playoff was needed to break the tie. Unlike 1962, Peñarol came out on top and eliminated Santos 2–1. Pelé would, however, finish as the topscorer of the tournament with eight goals. This proved to be the start of a decline as Santos failed to retain the Torneio Rio-São Paulo. In 1966, Pelé and Santos also failed to retain the Taça Brasil as O Rei's goals weren't enough to prevent a 9–4 defeat by Cruzeiro (led by Tostão) in the final series. The club did however win the Campeonato Paulista in 1967, 1968 and 1969. On 19 November 1969, Pelé scored his 1000th goal in all competitions, in what was a highly anticipated moment in Brazil. The goal, popularly dubbed O Milésimo (The Thousandth), occurred in a match against Vasco da Gama, when Pelé scored from a penalty kick, at the Maracanã Stadium.
Pelé states that his most memorable goal was scored at Rua Javari stadium on a Campeonato Paulista match against São Paulo rival Juventus on 2 August 1959. As there is no video footage of this match, Pelé asked that a computer animation be made of this specific goal. In March 1961, Pelé scored the gol de placa (goal worthy of a plaque), against Fluminense at the Maracanã. Pelé received the ball on the edge of his own penalty area, and ran the length of the field, eluding opposition players with feints, before striking the ball beyond the goalkeeper. A plaque was commissioned with a dedication to "the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracanã".
In 1967, the two factions involved in the Nigerian Civil War agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pelé play an exhibition game in Lagos. During his time at Santos, Pelé played alongside many gifted players, including Zito, Pepe, and Coutinho; the latter partnered him in numerous one-two plays, attacks, and goals.
New York Cosmos
After the 1974 season (his 19th with Santos), Pelé retired from Brazilian club football although he continued to occasionally play for Santos in official competitive matches. Two years later, he came out of semi-retirement to sign with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL) for the 1975 season. Though well past his prime at this point, Pelé is credited with significantly increasing public awareness and interest of the sport in the United States. Hoping to fuel the same kind of awareness in the Dominican Republic, he and the Cosmos team played in an exhibition match against Haitian team, Violette AC, in the Santo Domingo Olympic Stadium on 3 June 1976, where over 25,000 fans watched him score a winning goal in the last seconds of the match, leading the Cosmos to a 2–1 victory. He led the Cosmos to the 1977 NASL championship, in his third and final season with the club.
On 1 October 1977, Pelé closed out his career in an exhibition match between the Cosmos and Santos. Santos arrived in New York and New Jersey after previously defeating the Seattle Sounders, 2–0. The match was played in front of a sold out crowd at Giants Stadium and was televised in the United States on ABC's Wide World of Sports as well as throughout the world. Pelé's father and wife both attended the match, as well as Muhammad Ali and Bobby Moore. Pelé played the first half for the Cosmos and the second half for Santos. Pelé scored his final goal from a direct free kick, and Cosmos won 2–1.
Pelé's first international match was a 2–1 defeat against Argentina on 7 July 1957 at the Maracanã. In that match, he scored his first goal for Brazil aged 16 years and nine months to become the youngest player to score in international football.
1958 World Cup
Pelé arrived in Sweden sidelined by a knee injury but on his return from the treatment room, his colleagues closed ranks and insisted upon his selection. His first match was against the USSR in the third match of the first round of the 1958 FIFA World Cup, where he gave the assist to Vavá's second goal. He was the youngest player of that tournament, and at the time the youngest ever to play in the World Cup. He scored his first World Cup goal against Wales in quarter-finals, the only goal of the match, to help Brazil advance to semifinals, while becoming the youngest ever World Cup goalscorer at 17 years and 239 days. Against France in the semifinal, Brazil were leading 2–1 at halftime, and then Pelé scored a hat-trick, becoming the youngest in World Cup history to do so.
On 29 June 1958 Pelé became the youngest player to play in a World Cup final match at 17 years and 249 days. He scored two goals in that final as Brazil beat Sweden 5–2 in the capital of Stockholm. His first goal where he flicked the ball over a defender before volleying into the corner of the net, was selected as one of the best goals in the history of the World Cup. Following Pelé's second goal, Swedish player Sigvard Parling would later comment; "When Pelé scored the fifth goal in that Final, I have to be honest and say I felt like applauding". When the match ended, Pelé passed out on the field, and had to be attended by the medical staff. He then recovered, and was compelled by the victory to weep as he was being congratulated by his teammates. He finished the tournament with six goals in four matches played, tied for second place, behind record-breaker Just Fontaine, and was named best young player of the tournament.
It was in the 1958 World Cup that Pelé began wearing a jersey with number 10. Recently it has become known that the event was the result of disorganization: the leaders did not send the shirt numbers of players and it was up to FIFA to choose the number 10 shirt to Pele who was a substitute on the occasion. The press proclaimed Pelé the greatest revelation of the 1958 World Cup, and he was also retroactively given the Silver Ball as the second best player of the tournament, behind Didi.
South American Championship
Pelé also played in the South American Championship. In the 1959 competition he was named best player of the tournament and was top scorer with 8 goals, as Brazil came second despite being unbeaten in the tournament.
1962 World Cup
This was expected to be Pelé's World Cup, as he was rated as the best player in the world at the time. In the first match of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, against Mexico, Pelé assisted the first goal and then scored the second one, after a run past four defenders, to go up 2–0. He injured himself while attempting a long-range shot against Czechoslovakia. This would keep him out of the rest of the tournament, and forced coach Aymoré Moreira to make his only lineup change of the tournament. The substitute was Amarildo, who performed well for the rest of the tournament. However, it was Garrincha who would take the leading role and carry Brazil to their second World Cup title, after beating Czechoslovakia at the final in the capital of Santiago.
1966 World Cup
The 1966 World Cup in England was marked, among other things, for the fouling on Pelé, by the Bulgarian and Portuguese defenders. Pelé was the most famous footballer in the world, and Brazil fielded some world champions like Garrincha, Gilmar and Djalma Santos with the addition of other stars like Jairzinho, Tostão and Gérson, leading to high expectations for them. Brazil was eliminated in the first round, playing only three matches.
Pelé scored the first goal from a free kick against Bulgaria, becoming the first player to score in three successive FIFA World Cups, but due to his injury, a result of persistent fouling by the Bulgarians, he missed the second game against Hungary. Brazil lost that game and Pelé, although still recovering, was brought back for the last crucial match against Portugal at Goodison Park in Liverpool by the Brazilian coach Vicente Feola. Feola changed the entire defense, including the goalkeeper, while in midfield he returned to the formation of the first match. In attack he maintained Jairzinho and substituted the other two players, despite knowing that Pelé was still recovering from his serious injuries. During the game, Portugal defender João Morais fouled Pelé, but was not sent off by referee George McCabe. Pelé had to stay on the field limping for the rest of the game, since substitutes were not allowed at that time. After this game he vowed he would never again play in the World Cup, a decision he would later change.
1970 World Cup
Pelé was called to the national team in early 1969, he refused at first, but then accepted and played in six World Cup qualifying matches, scoring six goals. The 1970 World Cup in Mexico was to be Pelé's last. Brazil's squad for the tournament featured major changes in relation to the 1966 squad. Players like Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Valdir Pereira, Djalma Santos and Gilmar had already retired, but the team, with Pelé, Rivelino, Jairzinho, Gérson, Carlos Alberto Torres, Tostão and Clodoaldo, is often considered to be the greatest football team in history.
The front five of Jairzinho, Pelé, Gerson, Tostão and Rivelino together created an attacking momentum, with Pelé having a central role in Brazil's way to the final. All of Brazil's matches in the tournament (except the final) were played in Guadalajara, and in the first match against Czechoslovakia, Pelé gave Brazil a 2–1 lead, by controlling Gerson's long pass with his chest and then scoring. In this match Pelé attempted to lob goalkeeper Ivo Viktor from the half-way line, only narrowly missing the Czechoslovak goal. Brazil went on to win the match, 4–1. In the first half of the match against England, Pelé nearly scored with a header that was saved by the England goalkeeper Gordon Banks. In the second half, he controlled a cross from Tostão before flicking the ball to Jairzinho who scored the only goal.
Against Romania in Guadalajara, Pelé scored the first goal with a bending free kick hit with the outside of his right foot. Later in the match he scored again to make it 3–1. Brazil won by a final score of 3–2. In the quarterfinals against Peru, Brazil won 4–2, with Pelé assisting Tostão for Brazil's third goal. In their semi-final match, Brazil faced Uruguay for the first time since the 1950 World Cup final round match. Jairzinho put Brazil ahead 2–1, and Pelé assisted Rivelino for the 3–1. During that match, Pelé made one of his most famous plays. Tostão passed the ball for Pelé to collect which Uruguay's goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz took notice of and ran off his line to get the ball before Pelé. However, Pelé got there first and fooled Mazurkiewicz with a feint by not touching the ball, causing it to roll to the goalkeepers left, while Pelé went to the goalkeepers right. Pelé ran around the goalkeeper to retrieve the ball and took a shot while turning towards the goal, but he turned in excess as he shot, and the ball drifted just wide of the far post.
Brazil played Italy in the final at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Pelé scored the opening goal with a header over Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich. He then made assists on Brazil's third goal, scored by Jairzinho, and the fourth finished by Carlos Alberto which is often considered the greatest team goal of all time, involving all but two of the team's outfield players, and ended with Pelé making a blind pass which went into the path of Carlos Alberto, who came running from behind, and struck the ball to score. Brazil won the match 4–1, keeping the Jules Rimet Trophy indefinitely, and Pelé received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. Burgnich, who marked Pelé during the final, was quoted saying "I told myself before the game, he's made of skin and bones just like everyone else — but I was wrong".
Pelé's last international match was on 18 July 1971 against Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro. With Pelé on the field, the Brazilian team's record was 67 wins, 14 draws and 11 losses. Brazil never lost a match while fielding both Pelé and Garrincha.
Style of play
Pelé is widely regarded by many pundits and players as the greatest footballer of all time. A prolific goalscorer, he was known for his ability to anticipate opponents in the area and finish off chances with an accurate and powerful shot with either foot. Pelé was also a hard-working team-player, with exceptional vision and intelligence, who was recognised for his precise passing, and ability to link-up with teammates and provide them with assists. In his early career, he played in a variety of attacking positions: although he usually operated inside the penalty area as a main striker or centre-forward, his wide range of skills also allowed him to play in a more withdrawn role, as an inside forward or second striker, or out wide. In his later career, he took on more of a deeper playmaking role behind the strikers, often functioning as an attacking midfielder. Pelé’s unique playing style combined speed, creativity, and technical skill with physical power, stamina, and athleticism. His excellent technique, balance, flair, and dribbling skills enabled him to beat opponents with the ball, and frequently saw him use sudden changes of direction and elaborate feints in order to get past players, such as his trademark move, the drible da vaca. In spite of his relatively small stature, he excelled in the air, due to his heading accuracy and elevation. Renowned for his bending shots, he was also an accurate free-kick taker, and penalty taker, although he often refrained from taking penalties, stating that he believed it to be a cowardly way to score.
Reception and legacy
Pelé is one of the most lauded players in history and is frequently ranked the best player ever. Among his contemporaries, Dutch star Johan Cruyff stated; "Pelé was the only footballer who surpassed the boundaries of logic." Brazil's 1970 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Carlos Alberto Torres opined; "His great secret was improvisation. Those things he did were in one moment. He had an extraordinary perception of the game." Tostão, his strike partner at the 1970 World Cup; "Pelé was the greatest – he was simply flawless. And off the pitch he is always smiling and upbeat. You never see him bad-tempered. He loves being Pelé." His Brazilian teammate Clodoaldo commented on the adulation he witnessed; "In some countries they wanted to touch him, in some they wanted to kiss him. In others they even kissed the ground he walked on. I thought it was beautiful, just beautiful." Former Real Madrid and Hungary star Ferenc Puskás stated; "The greatest player in history was Di Stefano. I refuse to classify Pelé as a player. He was above that."
Just Fontaine, French striker and leading scorer at the 1958 World Cup; "When I saw Pelé play, it made me feel I should hang up my boots." England's 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore commented: "Pelé was the most complete player I've ever seen, he had everything. Two good feet. Magic in the air. Quick. Powerful. Could beat people with skill. Could outrun people. Only five feet and eight inches tall, yet he seemed a giant of an athlete on the pitch. Perfect balance and impossible vision. He was the greatest because he could do anything and everything on a football pitch. I remember Saldhana the coach being asked by a Brazilian journalist who was the best goalkeeper in his squad. He said Pelé. The man could play in any position". Former Manchester United striker and member of England's 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning team Sir Bobby Charlton stated; "I sometimes feel as though football was invented for this magical player." During the 1970 World Cup, a British television commentator asked; "How do you spell Pelé?", with the response; "Easy: G-O-D."
Since retiring, Pelé has continued to be lauded by players, coaches, journalists and others. Brazilian attacking midfielder Zico, who represented Brazil at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cup, stated; "This debate about the player of the century is absurd. There's only one possible answer: Pelé. He's the greatest player of all time, and by some distance I might add". French three time Balon D'or winner Michel Platini said; "There's Pelé the man, and then Pelé the player. And to play like Pelé is to play like God." Joint FIFA Player of the Century, Argentina's 1986 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona stated; "It's too bad we never got along, but he was an awesome player". Prolific Brazilian striker Romário, winner of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and player of the tournament; "It's only inevitable I look up to Pelé. He's like a God to us". Four-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo said: "Pelé is the greatest player in football history, and there will only be one Pelé", while José Mourinho, two-time UEFA Champions League winning manager, commented; "I think he is football. You have the real special one – Mr Pelé." Real Madrid honorary president and former player, Alfredo Di Stéfano, opined; "The best player ever? Pelé. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both great players with specific qualities, but Pelé was better".
Presenting Pelé a lifetime achievement award, former South African president Nelson Mandela said; "To watch him play was to watch the delight of a child combined with the extraordinary grace of a man in full." US statesman and political scientist Henry Kissinger stated, "Performance at a high level in any sport is to exceed the ordinary human scale. But Pelé's performance transcended that of the ordinary star by as much as the star exceeds ordinary performance." Former Brazilian ambassador to the United Nations, J.B. Pinheiro, commented; "Pelé played football for 22 years, and in that time he did more to promote world friendship and fraternity than any other ambassador anywhere." One of the world's most famous people since the mid 20th century, a reporter asked if his fame compared to that of Jesus, Pelé in response quipped, "There are parts of the world where Jesus Christ is not so well known."
On 21 February 1966, Pelé married Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi; they have two daughters, Kelly Cristina (born 13 January 1967), who married Dr. Arthur DeLuca, and Jennifer (b. 1978), as well as a son, Edson ("Edinho", b. 27 August 1970). The couple divorced in 1982. In 1977, Brazilian media reported that Pelé had his right kidney removed. From 1981 to 1986, Pelé was romantically linked with the model Xuxa, and was seen as influential in launching her career; she was 17 when they started to date. In April 1994 Pelé married psychologist and gospel singer Assíria Lemos Seixas, who gave birth on 28 September 1996 to twins Joshua and Celeste through fertility treatments. The couple divorced in 2008. Pelé had at least two more children from former affairs. Sandra Machado, his daughter with a housemaid Anizia Machado in 1964, for years fought to be acknowledged by Pelé, who refused to submit to DNA tests. Although she was recognized by courts as his daughter based on DNA evidence in 1993, Pelé never acknowledged his eldest daughter even after her death in 2006, nor her two children, Octavio and Gabriel. Pelé had had another daughter, Flávia Kurtz, in an extramarital affair in 1968 with journalist Lenita Kurtz. Flávia was recognized by him as his daughter.
At the age of 73, Pelé announced his intention to marry 41-year-old Marcia Aoki, a Japanese-Brazilian importer of medical equipment from Penápolis, São Paulo, whom he has been dating since 2010. They first met in the mid-1980s in New York, before meeting again in 2008. Pelé is now married to Marcia Aoki who stood by him during his illness in 2014.
In 1970, Pelé was investigated by the Brazilian military dictatorship for suspected leftist sympathies. Declassified documents show Pelé was investigated after being handed a manifesto calling for the release of political prisoners. Pelé himself did not get further involved within political struggles in the country. He has been criticized in the public opinion for his conservative views. In June 2013, during the Brazilian protests, he asked for people to "forget the demonstrations" and support the Brazil national team. In November 2012, Pelé underwent a successful hip operation. In May 2014, his son Edinho was jailed for 33 years for laundering money from drug trafficking. Pelé has stated that he is a Catholic.
In 1995, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso appointed Pelé to the position of Extraordinary Minister for Sport, and he was also appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. During this time he proposed legislation to reduce corruption in Brazilian football, which became known as the "Pelé law." Pelé left his position in 2001 after he was accused of involvement in a corruption scandal, although nothing was proven, and it was denied by UNICEF. In 1997, he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace. Pelé also helped inaugurate the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, alongside supermodel Claudia Schiffer.
Pelé publicly accused the Brazilian football administrator Ricardo Teixeira of corruption after Pelé's television company was rejected in a contest for the Brazilian domestic rights to the 1994 World Cup. Pelé accusations led to an eight-year feud between the pair. As a consequence of the affair, the President of FIFA, João Havelange banned Pelé from the draw for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in Las Vegas. Criticisms over the ban were perceived to have negatively affected Havelange's chances of re-election as FIFA's president in 1994.
Pelé has published several autobiographies, starred in documentary films, and composed musical pieces, including the soundtrack for the film Pelé in 1977. He appeared, alongside other footballers of the 1960s and 1970s, with Michael Caine, and Sylvester Stallone, in the 1981 film Escape to Victory, about a World War II-era football match between Allied prisoners of war and a German team. in 1969, Pelé starred in a telenovela called Os Estranhos, about first contact with aliens. It was created to drum up interest in the Apollo missions. In 2001, had a cameo role in the satire film, Mike Bassett: England Manager.
In November 2007, Pelé was in Sheffield, England to mark the 150th anniversary of the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F.C.. Pelé was the guest of honour at Sheffield's anniversary match against Inter Milan, which Inter won 5–2 at Bramall Lane. As part of his visit, Pelé opened an exhibition which included the first public showing in 40 years of the original hand-written rules of football. Pelé scouted for Premier League club Fulham in 2002. He made the draw for the qualification groups for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals. On 1 August 2010, Pelé was introduced as the Honorary President of a revived New York Cosmos, aiming to field a team in Major League Soccer On 3 August 2011, it was reported that Santos were considering bringing him out of retirement for a cameo role in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, although this later turned out to be false.
The most notable area of Pelé's life since football is his ambassadorial work. In 1992, he was appointed a UN ambassador for ecology and the environment. He was also awarded Brazil's Gold Medal for outstanding services to the sport in 1995. In 2012, Pelé was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh for "significant contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes, as well as his sporting achievements".
On 12 August 2012, Pelé was an attendee at the 2012 Olympic hunger summit hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, London, part of a series of international efforts which have sought to respond to the return of hunger as a high-profile global issue. Later on the same day, Pelé appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, following the handover section to the next host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro.
In March 2016 Pelé filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking $30 million in damages claiming violations under the Lanham Act for false endorsement and a state law claim for violation of his right of publicity. The suit alleges, that at one point Samsung and Pelé came close to entering into a licensing agreement for Pelé to appear in a Samsung advertising campaign. Samsung abruptly pulled out of the negotiations. The October 2015 Samsung ad in question, includes a partial face shot of a man who allegedly "very closely resembles" Pelé and also a superimposed high-definition television screen next to the image of the man featuring a "modified bicycle or scissors-kick", perfected and famously used by Pelé.
- FIFA World Cup (3): 1958, 1962, 1970
- Roca Cup (2): 1957, 1963
- Cruz Cup (3): 1958, 1962, 1968
- Bernardo O'Higgins Cup (1): 1959
- Atlantic Cup (1): 1960
- Copa Libertadores (2): 1962, 1963
- Intercontinental Cup (2): 1962, 1963
- Intercontinental Supercup (1): 1968
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (6): 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968
- Torneio Rio-São Paulo (4): 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966
- Campeonato Paulista (10): 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973
- North American Soccer League, Soccer Bowl (1): 1977
- North American Soccer League, Atlantic Conference Championship (1): 1977
- FIFA World Cup Best Young Player (1): 1958
- FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (Best Player) (1): 1970
- FIFA World Cup Silver Ball (1): 1958
- FIFA World Cup Silver Boot (1): 1958
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (2): 1958, 1970
- FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
- FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2002
- Copa America Best Player (1): 1959
- Copa América Top Scorer (1): 1959
- FIFA Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur: 2013.
- Ballon d'Or: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1970 - Le nouveau palmarès (the new winners)
- FIFA Player of the Century: 2000
- FIFA Order of Merit: 1984
- FIFA Centennial Award: 2004
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality: 1970
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award: 2005
- Greatest football player to have ever played the game, by Golden Foot: 2012
- Athlete of the Century, by Reuters News Agency: 1999
- Athlete of the Century, elected by International Olympic Committee: 1999
- Athlete of the Century, elected by worldwide journalists, poll by French daily L'Equipe: 1981
- South American Footballer of the Year (1): 1973
- Silver ball South American Footballer of the Year (1): 1972
- South America Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999
- Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999
- Football Player of the Century, elected by France Football's Ballon d'Or Winners: 1999
- UNICEF Football Player of the Century: 1999
- Inducted into the American National Soccer Hall of Fame: 1993
- Laureus World Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement Award from South African President Nelson Mandela: 2000
- World Team of the 20th Century: 1998
- World Soccer World XI (7): 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
- World Soccer The Greatest Players of the 20th century: 1999
- World Soccer Greatest XI of all time: 2013
- FICTS "Excellence Guirlande D'Honneur" and "Hall of Fame", 2004
- L'Équipe's Top 50 South-American footballers in history: #1, 2015
- Honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh celebrating Pelé's "significant contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes, as well as his sporting achievements": 2012
- TIME One of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century: 1999
- Painted by Andy Warhol as part of Warhol's Athletes Series.
- Pelé has appeared in numerous postage stamps issued around the world, including North Korea in 1989.
- FIFA World Cup's top 100 footballers of all time, by The Guardian: #1, 2014
- FIFA 100 Greatest Living Footballers: 2004
- Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame
In December 2000, Pelé and Maradona shared the prize of FIFA Player of the Century by FIFA. The award was originally intended to be based upon votes in a web poll, but after it became apparent that it favoured Diego Maradona, many observers complained that the Internet nature of the poll would have meant a skewed demographic of younger fans who would have seen Maradona play, but not Pelé. FIFA then appointed a "Family of Football" committee of FIFA members to decide the winner of the award together with the votes of the readers of the FIFA Magazine. The committee chose Pelé. Since Maradona was winning the Internet poll, however, it was decided he and Pelé should share the award.
- Brazil national football team All-Time Leading Scorer, 77 goals (95 goals including unofficial friendlies).
- Intercontinental Cup: All-Time Leading Scorer: 7 goals
- World record number of hat-trick: 92
- Guinness World Records: Most career goals (football): 1283 goals in 1363 games
- Guinness World Records: Most FIFA World Cup Winners' Medals
- Youngest scorer in the FIFA World Cup: 17 years and 239 days (Brazil v Wales 1958)
- Youngest hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup: 17 years and 244 days (Brazil v France 1958)
- Youngest player to play in a FIFA World Cup final match: 17 years and 249 days (Brazil v Sweden 1958)
- Youngest scorer in the FIFA World Cup final match: 17 years and 249 days (Brazil v Sweden 1958)
- Youngest winner of a FIFA World Cup: 17 years in 1958 FIFA World Cup
Pelé's goalscoring record is often reported by FIFA among others as being 1281 goals in 1363 games. Some sources, however, claim that Pelé scored 1282 goals in 1366 games. This figure includes goals scored by Pelé in friendly club matches, for example, international tours Pelé completed with Santos and the New York Cosmos, and a few games Pelé played in for armed forces teams during his national service in Brazil.
The tables below record every goal Pelé scored in major club competitions for Santos and the New York Cosmos. During much of Pelé's playing career in Brazil there was no national league championship. From 1960 onwards the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) were required to provide meritocratic entrants for the then-new Copa Libertadores, a South American international club competition broadly equivalent to the European Cup. To enable them to do this, the CBF organised two national competitions: the Taça de Prata and Taça Brasil. A national league championship, the Campeonato Brasileiro, was first played in 1971, alongside traditional state and interstate competitions such as the Campeonato Paulista and the Torneio Rio-São Paulo.
The number of league goals scored by Pelé for Santos and New York Cosmos is listed as 656 in 702 games, which is a world record for League competitions. This number is the sum of the goals scored by Pelé in domestic league-based competitions: the Campeonato Paulista (SPS), Torneio Rio-São Paulo (RSPS), Taça de Prata and Campeonato Brasileiro. The Taça Brasil was a national competition organised on a knockout basis.
|Club||Season||Campeonato Paulista||Rio-São Paulo||Campeonato Brasileiro Série A||Domestic competitions
|Copa Libertadores||Intercontinental Cup|
Pelé is the top scorer of the Brazil national football team with 77 goals in 92 official appearances. In addition, he has scored 18 times in 22 unofficial games. This makes an unofficial total of 114 games and 95 goals. He has also scored 12 goals and is credited with 10 assists in 14 World Cup appearances, including 4 goals and 7 assists in 1970. Pelé shares with Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose the achievement of being the only three footballers to have scored in four separate World Cup tournaments.
|#||Date||Venue||Home||Result||Visitor||Competition||Goals||Goals so far|
|1.||7 July 1957||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1–2||Argentina||Roca Cup||1||1|
|2.||10 July 1957||São Paulo||Brazil||2–0||Argentina||Roca Cup||1||2|
|3.||4 May 1958||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||5–1||Paraguay||Oswaldo Cruz Cup||1||3|
|4.||14 May 1958||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||4–0||Bulgaria||Friendly||0||3|
|5.||18 May 1958||São Paulo||Brazil||3–1||Bulgaria||Friendly||2||5|
|6.||15 June 1958||Gothenburg||Brazil||2–0||Soviet Union||World Cup||0||5|
|7.||19 June 1958||Gothenburg||Brazil||1–0||Wales||World Cup||1||6|
|8.||24 June 1958||Stockholm||Brazil||5–2||France||World Cup||3||9|
|9.||29 June 1958||Stockholm||Brazil||5–2||Sweden||World Cup||2||11|
|10.||10 March 1959||Buenos Aires||Brazil||2–2||Peru||Copa América||1||12|
|11.||15 March 1959||Buenos Aires||Brazil||3–0||Chile||Copa América||2||14|
|12.||21 March 1959||Buenos Aires||Brazil||4–2||Bolivia||Copa América||1||15|
|13.||26 March 1959||Buenos Aires||Brazil||3–1||Uruguay||Copa América||0||15|
|14.||29 March 1959||Buenos Aires||Brazil||4–1||Paraguay||Copa América||3||18|
|15.||4 April 1959||Buenos Aires||Argentina||1–1||Brazil||Copa América||1||19|
|16.||13 May 1959||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–0||England||Friendly||0||19|
|17.||17 September 1959||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||7–0||Chile||O'Higgins Cup||3||22|
|18.||20 September 1959||São Paulo||Brazil||1–0||Chile||O'Higgins Cup||0||22|
|19.||29 April 1960||Cairo||United Arab Republic||0–5||Brazil||Friendly||0||22|
|20.||1 May 1960||Alexandria||United Arab Republic||1–3||Brazil||Friendly||3||25|
|21.||6 May 1960||Cairo||United Arab Republic||0–3||Brazil||Friendly||0||25|
|22.||10 May 1960||Copenhagen||Denmark||3–4||Brazil||Friendly||0||25|
|23.||9 July 1960||Montevideo||Uruguay||0–1||Brazil||Atlantic Cup||0||25|
|24.||12 July 1960||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||5–1||Argentina||Atlantic Cup||1||26|
|25.||21 April 1962||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||6–0||Paraguay||Oswaldo Cruz Cup||1||27|
|26.||24 April 1962||São Paulo||Brazil||4–0||Paraguay||Oswaldo Cruz Cup||2||29|
|27.||6 May 1962||São Paulo||Brazil||2–1||Portugal||Friendly||0||29|
|28.||9 May 1962||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1–0||Portugal||Friendly||1||30|
|29.||12 May 1962||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||3–1||Wales||Friendly||1||31|
|30.||16 May 1962||São Paulo||Brazil||3–1||Wales||Friendly||2||33|
|31.||30 May 1962||Viña del Mar||Brazil||2–0||Mexico||World Cup||1||34|
|32.||2 June 1962||Viña del Mar||Brazil||0–0||Czechoslovakia||World Cup||0||34|
|33.||13 April 1963||São Paulo||Brazil||2–3||Argentina||Roca Cup||0||34|
|34.||16 April 1963||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||5–2||Argentina||Roca Cup||3||37|
|35.||21 April 1963||Lisbon||Portugal||1–0||Brazil||Friendly||0||37|
|36.||28 April 1963||Paris||France||2–3||Brazil||Friendly||3||40|
|37.||2 May 1963||Amsterdam||Netherlands||1–0||Brazil||Friendly||0||40|
|38.||5 May 1963||Hamburg||West Germany||1–2||Brazil||Friendly||1||41|
|39.||12 May 1963||Milan||Italy||3–0||Brazil||Friendly||0||41|
|40.||30 May 1964||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||5–1||England||Taça das Nações||1||42|
|41.||3 June 1964||São Paulo||Brazil||0–3||Argentina||Taça das Nações||0||42|
|42.||7 June 1964||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||4–1||Portugal||Taça das Nações||1||43|
|43.||2 June 1965||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||5–0||Belgium||Friendly||3||46|
|44.||6 June 1965||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–0||West Germany||Friendly||1||47|
|45.||9 June 1965||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||0–0||Argentina||Friendly||0||47|
|46.||17 June 1965||Orano||Algeria||0–3||Brazil||Friendly||1||48|
|47.||24 June 1965||Porto||Portugal||0–0||Brazil||Friendly||0||48|
|48.||30 June 1965||Stockholm||Sweden||1–2||Brazil||Friendly||1||49|
|49.||4 July 1965||Moscow||Soviet Union||0–3||Brazil||Friendly||2||51|
|50.||21 November 1965||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–2||Soviet Union||Friendly||1||52|
|51.||19 May 1966||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1–0||Chile||Friendly||0||52|
|52.||4 June 1966||São Paulo||Brazil||4–0||Peru||Friendly||1||53|
|53.||8 June 1966||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–1||Poland||Friendly||0||53|
|54.||12 June 1966||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–1||Czechoslovakia||Friendly||2||55|
|55.||15 June 1966||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–2||Czechoslovakia||Friendly||1||56|
|56.||25 June 1966||Glasgow||Scotland||1–1||Brazil||Friendly||0||56|
|57.||30 June 1966||Göteborg||Sweden||2–3||Brazil||Friendly||0||56|
|58.||12 July 1966||Liverpool||Brazil||2–0||Bulgaria||World Cup||1||57|
|59.||19 July 1966||Liverpool||Portugal||3–1||Brazil||World Cup||0||57|
|60.||25 July 1968||Asunción||Paraguay||0–4||Brazil||Oswaldo Cruz Cup||2||59|
|61.||28 July 1968||Asunción||Paraguay||1–0||Brazil||Oswaldo Cruz Cup||0||59|
|62.||31 October 1968||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1–2||Mexico||Friendly||0||59|
|63.||3 November 1968||Belo Horizonte||Brazil||2–1||Mexico||Friendly||1||60|
|64.||6 November 1968||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2-1||FIFA XI||Friendly||0||60|
|65.||14 December 1968||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–2||West Germany||Friendly||0||60|
|66.||17 December 1968||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||3–3||Yugoslavia||Friendly||1||61|
|67.||7 April 1969||Porto Alegre||Brazil||2–1||Peru||Friendly||0||61|
|68.||9 April 1969||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||3–2||Peru||Friendly||1||62|
|69.||12 June 1969||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–1||England||Friendly||0||62|
|70.||6 August 1969||Bogotá||Colombia||0–2||Brazil||World Cup Qualifiers||0||62|
|71.||10 August 1969||Caracas||Venezuela||0–5||Brazil||World Cup Qualifiers||2||64|
|72.||17 August 1969||Asunción||Paraguay||0–3||Brazil||World Cup Qualifiers||0||64|
|73.||21 August 1969||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||6–2||Colombia||World Cup Qualifiers||1||65|
|74.||24 August 1969||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||6–0||Venezuela||World Cup Qualifiers||2||67|
|75.||31 August 1969||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1–0||Paraguay||World Cup Qualifiers||1||68|
|76.||4 March 1970||Porto Alegre||Brazil||0–2||Argentina||Friendly||0||68|
|77.||8 March 1970||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–1||Argentina||Friendly||1||69|
|78.||22 March 1970||São Paulo||Brazil||5–0||Chile||Friendly||2||71|
|79.||26 March 1970||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–1||Chile||Friendly||0||71|
|80.||12 April 1970||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||0–0||Paraguay||Friendly||0||71|
|81.||26 April 1970||São Paulo||Brazil||0–0||Bulgaria||Friendly||0||71|
|82.||29 April 1970||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1–0||Austria||Friendly||0||71|
|83.||3 June 1970||Guadalajara||Brazil||4–1||Czechoslovakia||World Cup||1||72|
|84.||7 June 1970||Guadalajara||Brazil||1–0||England||World Cup||0||72|
|85.||10 June 1970||Guadalajara||Brazil||3–2||Romania||World Cup||2||74|
|86.||14 June 1970||Guadalajara||Brazil||4–2||Peru||World Cup||0||74|
|87.||17 June 1970||Guadalajara||Brazil||3–1||Uruguay||World Cup||0||74|
|88.||21 June 1970||Mexico City||Brazil||4–1||Italy||World Cup||1||75|
|89.||30 September 1970||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–1||Mexico||Friendly||0||75|
|90.||4 October 1970||Santiago de Chile||Chile||1–5||Brazil||Friendly||1||76|
|91.||11 July 1971||São Paulo||Brazil||1–1||Austria||Friendly||1||77|
|92.||18 July 1971||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–2||Yugoslavia||Friendly||0||77|
|Unofficial international appearances (22) and goals (18)|
|1966-05-01||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||2–0||Rio Grande do Sul|
|1968-11-06||Rio de Janeiro||FIFA XI (Friendly match)||2–1||Brazil|
|1969-07-09||Aracaju||Rio Grande do Sul||2–8||Brazil|
|1969-09-03||Belo Horizonte||Atlético Mineiro||2–1||Brazil||1|
|1970-03-14||Rio de Janeiro||Bangu||1–1||Brazil|
|1970-04-19||Belo Horizonte||Minas Gerais||1–3||Brazil|
|FIFA World Cup goals|
|1958-06-19||Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden||Wales||1–0||1–0||1958||Quarterfinal|
|1958-06-24||Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden||France||1–3||2–5||1958||Semifinal|
|1958-06-24||Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden||France||1–4||2–5||1958||Semifinal|
|1958-06-24||Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden||France||1–5||2–5||1958||Semifinal|
|1958-06-29||Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden||Sweden||1–3||2–5||1958||Final|
|1958-06-29||Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden||Sweden||2–5||2–5||1958||Final|
|1962-05-30||Estadio Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile||Mexico||2– 0||2–0||1962||Group stage|
|1966-07-12||Goodison Park, Liverpool, England||Bulgaria||1–0||2–0||1966||Group stage|
|1970-06-03||Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico||Czechoslovakia||2–1||4–1||1970||Group stage|
|1970-06-10||Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico||Romania||1–0||3–2||1970||Group stage|
|1970-06-10||Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico||Romania||3–1||3–2||1970||Group stage|
|1970-06-21||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Italy||1–0||4–1||1970||Final|
|Career total (incl. unofficial matches)||41||43||69||56||114||95||0.83|
Pelé numbers differ between sources mostly due to friendly games. The RSSSF states that Pelé scored 767 goals in 831 official games, 1281 goals in 1365 overall while he was active, 1284 in 1375 taking into account benefit games after retirement. The following table is a compendium of sources that include data from Santos and FIFA official websites among others.
|Brazil national football team||92||77||0.84|
|Friendly matches and defunct Tournaments||554||526||0.95|
|International matches (Official and Friendlies)||503||479||0.95|
|Domestic matches (Official and Friendlies)||863||804||0.93|
|New York Cosmos||111||65||0.59|
- Official forename and birth date, as written on his birth certificate, are "Edison" and "21 October 1940":
CERTIDÃO DE NASCIMENTO
CERTIFICO que sob o n° 7.095 às fls. 123 do livro n° 21-A de Registro de Nascimento consta o assento de Edison Arantes do Nascimento nascido aos vinte e um (21) outubro de mil novecentos e quarenta (1940) às 03 horas e --- minutos em esta Cidade de Três Corações sexo masculino filho de João Ramos do Nascimento e de Celeste Arantes
However, Pelé has always maintained that those are mistakes, that he was actually named Edson and that he was born on 23 October 1940.
Pelé; Duarte, Orlando; Bellos, Alex (2006). Pelé: The Autobiography. London: Simon & Schuster UK. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7432-7582-8.
Shortly before I came along, there was another arrival in Três Corações: electricity. In order to celebrate this great improvement to our daily lives, Dondinho named me Edson, a tribute to Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb. In fact, on my birth certificate I am actually called Edison with an 'i', a mistake that persists to this day. I'm Edson with no 'i', but to my eternal annoyance quite often the 'i' appears on official or personal documents and time after time I have to explain why. As if that wasn't confusing enough, they got the date wrong on my birth certificate as well – it says 21 October. I'm not sure how this came about; probably because in Brazil we're not so fussy about accuracy. This is another mistake that carries on to this day. When I took out my first passport, the date was put in as 21 October and each time I have renewed it the date has stayed the same.
- "Pelé and Maradona – two very different number tens". FIFA. 25 January 2001. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- Arantes, Edson (2007). My Life and the Beautiful Game: The Autobiography of Pele. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 108,. ISBN 1-60239-196-3.
- "The Great Creators". FIFA. Retrieved 14 October 2012
- "Pele edges Eusebio as Santos defend title". FIFA. Retrieved 14 October 2012
- Pelé: The Autobiography. London: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd. 2006. p. 41,. ISBN 978-1-4165-1121-2.
- "More caps than goals". FIFA. Retrieved 20 October 2015
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"Pele's Santos go global". FIFA. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Pele Speaks of Benefits of Futebol de Salão". Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- Robert L. Fish; Pelé (1977). My Life and The Beautiful Game: The Autobiography of Pelé, Chapter 2. Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York. ISBN 0-385-12185-7
- Anibal Massaini Neto (Director/Producer), (2004). Pelé Eterno [Documentary film]. Brazil: Anima Produções Audiovisuais Ltda. International: Universal Studios Home Video.
- "Un siglo, diez historias" (in Spanish). BBC. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
- "From Edson to Pelé: my changing identity". Article by The Guardian. London. 13 May 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2006.
- Winterman, Denise (4 January 2006). "Taking the Pelé". Article by BBC Online. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
word had no meaning in Portuguese so he presumed it was an insult, but recently he has found out that it means miracle in Hebrew.
- Pelé; Orlando Duarte; Alex Bellos (2006). Pelé: the autobiography. London: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7432-7582-8.
- "Pelé". Vivendo Bauru. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Joe Marcus (1976). The world of Pele. New York: Mason/Charter. ISBN 978-0-88405-366-8.
- Betzold, Michael (2004). "Pele (soccer player)". encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
In an exhibition game on September 7, 1956, Pele entered the game in the second half for Santos and within a few minutes scored his first goal as a professional.
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- Bellos, Alex (2002). Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 244. ISBN 0-7475-6179-6.
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- (Portuguese) "Copa 1958". Consulted on 23 October 2010.
- The mark was surpassed by Northern Ireland's Norman Whiteside in the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
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- (Portuguese) Copa do Mundo de 1958 na Suécia. Consulted on 23 October 2010.
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- "The Day Portugal Hunted Down Pelé". soccerly.com. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "1966 FIFA World Cup England: Group 3". FIFA. Retrieved 16 January 2015
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- "Jeff Powell: Hats off to Del Bosque but his team cannot match the Golden Gods of Brazil". Daily Mail. 2 July 2012
- Roberto Mamrud. "Edson Arantes do Nascimento "Pelé" – Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "Brazil 'best ever' says Five Live". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
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- Hattenstone, Simon (30 June 2003). "And God created Pelé". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "The 100 greatest World Cup moments: (No.18)". The Independent Retrieved 13 May 2011.
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- Tom Adams (9 November 2015). "Mesut Ozil's assists at Arsenal make a compelling case for player of the year". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
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- "Pele: The greatest of them all". FIFA. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Pele tops World Cup legends poll". BBC News. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "The Best of the Best". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010.
- "The King of football: I Was There ...". FIFA. 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Pele and Mourinho win BBC awards" BBC.
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- Kissinger, Henry (14 June 1999). "PELE: The Phenomenon". Time. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Kirby, Gentry (2003). "Pele, King of Futbol". ESPN. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Brazil's greatest Pele turns 75, Daily Express. Retrieved 5 January 2016
- "Pelé Scores A Marriage Hat Trick". Latin Times. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- Guilherme Seto, Rafael Reis (28 November 2014). "Pelé tem apenas um rim desde que era jogador de futebol" (in Portuguese). uol.com.br. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- Xuxa, Pelé e a Playboy, Muita Pimenta Retrieved 12 July 2011
- "Pele's daughter dies of cancer at 42". ESPN. Retrieved 3 February 2014
- "Pele misses funeral of "daughter he never wanted". People. Retrieved 3 February 2014
- "Daughter who sued Pele dies of cancer at 42". ESPN. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "'Minha primeira paixão foi uma japonesa e a última também vai ser', afirma Pelé" ['My first love was a Japanese and will also be the last,' says Pele]. BOL.com. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- "Football legend Pele to marry". Daily Express. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- "Pelé Is Alive And Well! Thanks Fans In Video Message", Latin Times. Retrieved 11 December 2014
- "Pelé foi investigado pela ditadura na década de 1970". .folha.uol.com.br. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Estranho, conservador, desastroso e 'de outro planeta'; comentaristas analisam declarações de Pelé". Espn.uol.com.br. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Estátua de Pelé é "amordaçada" na cidade natal do jogador". Noticias.terra.com.br. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Pelé e as manifestações". Veja.abril.com.br. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Ronaldo e Pelé podiam ter passado sem mais essa". Diariodocentrodomundo.com.br. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Pelé vaiado nas redes devido a declarações sobre protestos no Brasil". Jn.pt. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Pele in hospital, hip operation a success, report says". ESPN. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Pele's son Edinho jailed for 33 years for Drug Trafficking". biharprabha.com. Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- "Romario trolls Pele on Twitter, says he's a phony Catholic and talks nothing but shit". 101greatgoals.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- World Sport Humanitarian Hall of Fame Inductees – Pelé. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "UNICEF denies Pele corruption reports". SportBusiness.com. Reuters. 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Pelé slips from Brazil pedestal, The Observer, 25 November 2001.
- "Education: Sir Pele lends his support". The Independent. 3 December 1997. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- Darby, Paul (2002). Africa, football, and FIFA: politics, colonialism, and resistance. F. Cass. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-0-7146-4968-9. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- Bellos, Alex (2003). Futebol. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-6179-8.
- Pelé at AllMusic
- "Escape to Victory remake: who should follow in Pelé's footsteps?". The Guardian. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Estranhos extraterrestres chegavam na tela da Excelsior para fazer contato com Pelé". cartaodevisita.r7.com. cartaodevisita.r7.com/. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Barron, Steve. "Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Rawcliffe, Jonathan (9 November 2007). "Pelé joins Sheffield celebrations". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
- Pelé scouts for Fulham, BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 June 2006.
- Blevins, David (23 December 2011). The Sports Hall of Fame Encyclopedia: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer. Scarecrow Press. p. 756. ISBN 0-8108-6130-5.
- Bell, Jack (1 August 2010). "Cosmos Begin Anew, With Eye Toward M.L.S.". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
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- Russell, Scott (1 October 2009). "Reasons why Rio is the right Olympic choice". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Pelé to receive honorary degree" (Press release). University of Edinburgh. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Forsyth, Justin (12 August 2012). "The 2012 hunger summit could be the reallegacy of the Games". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "Sport stars get behind Olympic hunger summit". 10 Downing Street. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
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- "Pelé IP Ownership LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., No. 16-03354 (N.D. Ill. amended complaint filed May 25, 2016)". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
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- "Copa Oswaldo Cruz". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 21 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
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- "Pelé o atleta do século". 3 January 2016. Archived from the original on 29 January 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
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- The 1973 Paulista was held jointly with Portuguesa.
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- "ERIC BATTY'S WORLD XI – THE SIXTIES". Retrieved 26 November 2015
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- "North Korea, "Brasiliana ´89 - Pelé",". Delcampe. 4 April 2017.
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- KBE#Notable honorary recipients
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- Estatísticas completas entre 1957 and 1974 no SPS, RSPS, e Campeonato Brasileiro foram retirados de http://soccer-europe.com/Biographies/Pele.html. Soccer Europe elaborou esta lista a partir de http://www.rsssf.com Archived 22 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation). Para uma lista completa dos gols de Pelé ver http://pele.m-qp-m.us/english/pele_statistics.shtml.
- This number was inferred from a Santos fixture list from rsssf.com and this list of games Pelé played.
- Em 1957, o Campeonato Paulista foi dividido em duas fases: Série Azul e Série Branca. Na primeira, Pelé marcou 19 gols em 14 jogos, e, na Série Azul, marcou 17 gols em 15 jogos. Veja http://paginas.terra.com.br/esporte/rsssfbrasil/tables/sp1957.htm
- "Brazil Cup 1959". Rsssfbrasil.com. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Brazil Cup 1960". Rsssfbrasil.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Brazil Cup 1963". Rsssfbrasil.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Estatísticas completas entre 1957 e 1974 na Taça de Prata, Taça Brasil e Copa Libertadores foram retiradas de http://soccer-europe.com/Biographies/Pele.html. Soccer Europe elaborou esta lista a partir de http://www.rsssf.com Archived 22 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation), but do not give a season-by-season breakdown. For a full list of Pelé's goals see http://pele.m-qp-m.us/english/pele_statistics.shtml.
- PELÉ (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) – The King of football (FIFA.com)
- "Pele helps Brazil to World Cup title – History.com This Day in History – 6/29/1958". History.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Jan Alsos (5 November 1936). "Legends – Uwe Seeler". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Edson Arantes do Nascimento "Pelé" – Goals in International Matches. NB. In January 2001, FIFA decided not to recognise this match (1968-11-06) as a full international. The CBD kept it in the national records". RSSF.com. Retrieved 20 October 2015
- "Edson Arantes do Nascimento "Pelé" - Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 April 2017
- "Afinal, quantos gols Pelé tem pela Seleção Brasileira?". Esporte. Retrieved 4 April 2017
- "Prolific Scorers Data". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Jogos e goals de Pelé pelo Santos
- "Pelé". Santos FC. Retrieved 22 September 2015
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pelé.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Pelé|
- Official website
- Pelé – FIFA competition record
- Pelé at National Soccer Hall of Fame
- Pelé: A Legend Looks Back – slideshow by Life magazine
- List of Goals for Brazil
- Pelé on Internet Movie Database
- Details of Pelé's international tours for Santos and Cosmos
- American Soccer History Archives – click on a year and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to see friendly tournaments
- Play Soccer with Pele
- Pelé at Santos official website
-  at International Football Hall of Fame
- Pelé at Planet World Cup