Pele is widely considered to be the greatest ever football (soccer) player to have ever graced the 90 meters long lush, or not so lush, field. He was voted the athlete of the century by the International Olympics Committee. The fact that he never participated in the Olympics themselves is a testament to how great his accomplishments were. That is the reason we are exploring interesting Pele facts today that made him into a one fine soccer legend.
Interesting Pele Facts You Should Know – Amazing
6. World Cup Maestro
Diego Maradona and other such legends that are often compared with Pele didn’t even come close to securing a track record as amazing as his. Even current legends such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have never led their country towards a world cup win. Pele has accomplished that feat a total of three times. One of the most interesting Pele facts is that he is also the youngest ever player to have ever won a world cup. During Brazil’s world cup 1958 win, he was a mere 17-year-old.
5. The Legend in the Name
Pele’s given name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento. At a time when many parents were naming their kids after various famous personalities, Pele was named after inventor Thomas Edison. As a kid, his favorite player was the goalkeeper of the Vasco da Gama team, Bile. He used to mispronounce the name as Pele, and he was eventually stuck with the same name he used to say incorrectly.
4. Ability to Cease Fire
It is one of those accolades that happen once in several lifetimes. Pele became such a household name in the 60s due to his contributions to the world cup winning sides and his pedigree as a scorer for Santos that even the highest of government official would do anything to watch him in action. In 1967, a 48-hour long cease fire was declared between the Nigerian government and the Rebels so that they watch Pele strap on his shooting boots in Lagos; certainly one of the most interesting Pele facts.
3. Most Prolific Goal Scorer
Either it was left foot or right foot – even the header – Pele had a knack of scoring crucial goals in almost every game that was worth a dime. He scored an amazing 1,281 goals in 1,363 professional appearances. One of the most interesting Pele facts is that when he scored his 1000th goal via a penalty kick in 1969, he was mobbed by the entire stadium, and it took 30 minutes to clear out the stadium to resume the match. Till date, he is the only footballer to have ever scored over 1000 professional goals.
2. National Treasure
Some of you might wonder that despite being revered as the No. 1 athlete of the 20th century, why Pele didn’t move too much more wealthy European giants. The fact is that Brazilian government had him declared a national treasure in 1961 when he was just 21. Doing that prevented him from being transferred to a club abroad despite a host of clubs as the likes of Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool attempting to sign him before.
1. Saving Puma
During the 60s, the sporting goods manufacturer Puma was taking a hit in revenue and sales due to an emergence of brands like Nike and Adidas. Their fortunes turned around in 1970 when during a world cup match in Mexico 1970, Pele pointed to the referee before the kick-off that he needed to tie his shoe laces. The cameras zoomed to find Pele wearing Puma shoes because of which Puma had the greatest sales for any past year.
Pele is revered as one of those footballers alongside Maradona, who made the sport a mainstream success. Many of his achievements will forever be unbreakable, like the fact when he scored 8 goals in a single match. Talk about most interesting Pele facts.