#70SportWays (57): Pelè, the athlete of the XX century
There is no need to present him. Edson Arantes do Nascimento known as Pelé is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. Not by chance, in 1999 he he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. During his career, he scored 1281 goals in 1363, that make him the most successful league goal-scorer in the world.
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 the record goalscorer for Santos, and led them to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores. His teams toured internationally in order to take full advantage of his popularity. Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football.
A prolific goalscorer, Pelé was known for his ability to strike powerful and accurate shots with both feet in addition to anticipating his opponents’ movements on the field. In his later career, he played in a playmaking role behind offensive strikers. 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.