There is controversy regarding the number of goals scored by Pele. But not about the beauty of many of these.
Pele died on Thursday after being hospitalized for a month due to stomach cancer and other health complications. He was 82 years old.
Various sources, counting different series of games, estimate the range of Pelé’s total goals to be between 650 (league games) and 1,281 (all his professional matches without age limit, including some lower categories).
The Brazilian striker scored in every possible way with dribbling, long shots, free kicks and headers. Most of his goals were with his Brazilian club Santos, and 95 were with the Brazilian national team.
Many of Pelé’s best goals were not recorded on video, but they remain in popular memory in Brazil and have even been digitally recreated.
Here are some of his most memorable goals:
When: September 7, 1956
Where: Santo Andre, Brazil
Opponent: Corinthians of Santo André
How: Pele was a teenager and had just started playing with Santos. He netted shortly after entering the field in the second half, helping Santos win the friendly 7–1. Zalúar, Corinthians’ goalkeeper at the time, later handed out business cards identifying himself as “the first goalkeeper to allow Pelé to score”.
When: August 2, 1959
Where: Sao Paulo
Opponent: Juventus of Sao Paulo
How: What is considered his best goal was not recorded on video, but was reproduced digitally for a film about Pele, based on accounts from players, fans and journalists. Juventus were at the match at Rua Javari, the club’s home in Sao. Paulo.
Pelé received the ball just inside the box and promptly headed the first keeper in front of him. He then tackled another defender near the penalty mark, and without letting the ball touch the ground, lifted it over the third defender and goalkeeper.
With an empty bow he led the ball. Juventus later honored Pelé for his goal with a statue and commemorative plaque at the stadium.
first in the world cup
When: June 19, 1958
Where: Gothenburg, Sweden
How: Pele’s first goal at the World Cup was a beauty. The 66th minute came in a difficult game against Wales in the quarter-finals of the tournament. With his back to goal, the 17-year-old controlled the ball with his chest and with one swift movement, sent it past a defender towards goal. He then finished down and into a corner with his right foot.
shine in the finals
When: June 29, 1958
Where: Solna, Sweden
How: Pelé scored six goals in his first World Cup, including two in a 5–2 final win against the hosts. His first goal gave Brazil a 3–1 lead after 55 minutes, and his second was a late header that ended the scoring.
The first goal was most impressive – he lobbed a defender inside the box, and before the ball had touched the ground, he finished it with a powerful right foot near the penalty spot.
great goal for mexico
When: June 30, 1962
Where: Vina del Mar, Chile
How: Pele missed the entire World Cup in Chile—an injury sidelined him from the second game—but he managed to score his best goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico in the group stage. A few yards in front of half court, the Brazilian launched a slalom in which he made a self-pass, erased at least four markers, including one on his shirt, and hit a left-footed shot in the 73rd. Scored down. minutes.
last in the world cup
When: June 21, 1970
Where: Mexico City
How: Pelé scored his 12th and final World Cup goal with a remarkable header past Italian goalkeeper Enrico Albertosi in front of more than 107,000 spectators at Estadio Azteca, scoring in a 4–1 victory for Brazil’s third World Championship Started.
Following Rivelino’s cross from the left wing, Pele rose from behind an Italian defender and headed into the corner.
When: November 19, 1969
Where: Rio de Janeiro
Opponent: Vasco da Gama
How: The legendary thousandth goal came from a penalty to a packed Maracana stadium. Pelé was fouled for a penalty, then converted with a shot from near the right post in the 78th minute to give Santos a 2–1 win.
Vasco’s goalkeeper, Andrada dived to the right but was unable to stop the ball. Pelé ran to collect the ball inside the goal while reporters and photographers poured onto the pitch to capture the milestone. The game was halted for several minutes, and Pele picked up the ball while carrying it, before going on an Olympic spin.
Although Vasco was the local team, the public cheered for Pele.
a round that’s worth the plate
When: March 5, 1961
Where: Rio de Janeiro
How: It became known as the “plaque goal”, a term now used in Brazil to identify a legendary goal, as it was commemorated with a bronze plaque at the Maracana stadium. It’s another Pelé goal that isn’t on video, but history at the time says the Santos star almost crossed the entire field, dribbling past several opponents, before scoring in a 3-1 win over Fluminense. took.
The plaque on the Maracana still bears the legend: “On this pitch, on March 5, 1961, Pele scored the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracana.”
wonder with the universe
When: August 10, 1976
Where: Rio de Janeiro
Opponent: Miami Bulls
How: One of the few Chileans in Pelé’s career, he appeared in the New York Cosmos’ last game, played at Yankee Stadium, an 8–2 victory over the Miami Bulls. Following a cross from the right into the box, Pele rose and turned, and finished with a right-footed overhead kick.
The ultimate goal
When: October 1, 1977
Where: East Rutherford, United States
How: It was in a friendly farewell game between Santos and the New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium. Pelé spent time with each team, but only with the Cosmos where he scored from a free kick just before half-time. It was one of his more than 60 goals with the Cosmos.