Remembering Pelé

Remembering Pelé

On the 29th of December 2022, the footballing world lost a legend. His name was Pelé, and he was arguably one of the greatest to ever play the game. He truly made football “the beautiful game”.

Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940. He was born in Três Corações, Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is claimed he was nicknamed Pele when he misspoke the then Vasco da Gama goalkeeper’s name Bilé.

At the age of 15, Pelé tried out for the professional club Santos FC and signed his first contract in September of 1956. He scored his first-ever professional goal in Santos FC’s 7-1 win over Corinthians de Santo André. This was the start of a glittering career. 

Pelé also had an extraordinary international career. He is the youngest player to score for Brazil at 16 years and nine months, and that record still stands today. On the 29th of June, 1958, Pelé became the youngest player to play in a World Cup Final at 17 years and 249 days. With Pelé on the field, the Brazilian team’s record was 67 wins, 14 draws, and 11 losses. Pelé won three World Cups in total.

Even after Pelé retired, he continued to impact the football world. For one of his many awards, he was voted FIFA Player of the Century alongside Diego Maradona.

Pele died at age 82 due to multiple organ failure, a complication of colon cancer. Many of the current greatest players paid tribute to him, matches had a minute of silence before they were played, the Christ the Redeemer statue lit up in honor of him, and the national flags of the 211 member associations of FIFA were flown half-mast at FIFA headquarters. Everyone who plays football knows Pelé, and he will be remembered and missed for a very long time.