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PELE


REAL NAME:  Edson Arantes do Nascimento
BORN:  OCT. 21, 1940
COUNTRY: Brazil
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES:  4 tournaments ('58, '62, '66, '70)
CLUBS: Santos, New York Cosmos

INTRODUCTION: The greatest and most famous player in World Cup history.  Won three of the four World Cups he participated. 

CAREER INTERNATIONAL GOALS: 97 in 111 games (or 77 in 92 games under stricter definition of international matches) 


1958 World Cup - Sweden
TEEN PRODIGY
17-year-old Pelè scoring an amazing first goal against Sweden in the final after some ball-juggling actions 
As a seventeen-year-old, he made his World Cupdebut in Sweden in the third game against Russia.  In a close match against Wales, Pelè scored the all-important goal in the 1-0 victory.  Against the much-fancied France in the semi-finals, the teenager rose to the occasion and scored three second half goals. In the 1958 World Cup, Pelè produced two world-class strikes againstSweden.  First he controlled a cross with his thigh, lifted it over an opposing defender and volleyed the ball past goalkeeper Svensson. For his second goal, he scored with a lopping header that beat the advancing goalkeeper.
TEARS OF A KING
The teenager was overcome by joy after winning his first World Cup
1962 World Cup - Chile
In 1962, Pelè was still 21 and had been widely recognised to be the succeessor of Di Stefano and Puskas as the world's greatest player.  In this tournament, he played only 2 games.  In the first game against Mexico, he scored a magnificent individual goal, beating four Mexican defenders before shooting powerfully to the inside of goalkeeper Carbajal's right-hand post.  He was injured in the match against Czechoslovakia and without him, Brazil stuggled.  However, Amarildo, deputizing for Pelè, proved a capable replacement and Garrincha became the greatest player of the tournament as Brazil retained its crown.
BRAZILIAN MASTERS
Garrincha and Pelè were Brazil's best players.  Brazil relied heavily on the latter after Pelè was injured.
1966 World Cup - England
In 1966, Pelè scored in the opening match from a free-kick but was kicked by the Bulgarian defenders somuch that he could not play in the next match.  Without him, Brazil lost to an Albert-inspired Hungary. Forced to return to the last game to save his team from elimination, Pelè made little impression as hewas brutally fouled by defender Morais.   Brazil, the world champions, did not even get past the first round.

1970 World Cup - Mexico

GREAT SPORTSMAN
Pelè exchanging shirts with Bobby Moore, England's own legend, after their first round match. 
The King returned again in 1970, aged 29, and played his best World Cup ever.  He scored four goals and madethree assists.  He also made some memorable scoring efforts. Against Uruguay, he produced a piece of sheer magic, dumming the famous goalkeeper Mazurkiewicz to shoot narrowly wide.  Against Rumania, he shot from within the center-circle after seeing goalkeeper off his line.  Against England, his bullet header was saved by Gordon Banks.  These efforts rank as the most famous near misses in the history of the game.

PEAK POWERS
At 29, Pelè was at his peak and gave his best World Cup performance ever
Under Pelè's guidance, Brazil won their third World Cup, registering seven consecutive wins against Czechoslovakia, England, Rumania, Peru, Uruguay and Italy.  In the 4-1 win against Italy, Pelè scored one of his most famous goals, outjumping defender Burgnich to opening the scoring.  For the final goal, without even looking, he roll a pass to his left, anticipating an overlapping run from defender Carlos Alberto, who blast the ball into the net.

Pelè retired from the international game soon afterwards and with him, Brazil had to wait 24 years before another World Cup victory.
RECORDS
Only player to win three World Cups.
One of two players to score in 2 finals.  (The other one is Vava)
Youngest player (17) to win the WorldCup. (1958)
Youngest player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match (1958 against France)
One of only two players to score in 4 different World Cups.  (The other is Seeler)

HIS GOALS IN THE WORLD CUP - COMPLETE RECORD
1958 
Quarter-final v. Wales
Semi-final v. France (3)
Final v. Sweden (2)
  1
1962
1st round: 1st match v. Mexico
1966
1st round: 1st match v. Bulgaria
1970
1st round: 1st match v. Czechoslovakia
1st round: 3rd match v. Rumania (2)
Final v. Italy


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