By Efosa Taiwan
Edson Arantes Do Nascimemto, Pele, is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time (GOAT).
While the current generation – and even the previous ones – may not have seen him play, his legacies are immortal.
Passed away on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at the age of 82, the world of football, and even beyond, paid tribute to the king of football.
Looking back on his prestigious career, here are 5 GOAT moments that are unforgettable in the football king’s career.
- 1000 goals
On November 19, 1969, Pele scored a milestone of 1,000 goals. Prior to the game on that day, he was tied in 999 and had not scored in two consecutive games. However, the triumph came on the said day in Maracana against Vasco de Gama, when Santos earned a penalty. From the spot he shot the ball in and scored number 1,000.
- First goal of the South American Championship in 1959
Pelé sparked the league in 1959, just after being crowned world champion. Brazil somehow failed to win the South American Championships, finishing one point behind Argentina, but the teenage superstar shone throughout the campaign, scoring eight goals and being named player of the tournament.
- Copa Libertodores Good luck with Santos
After winning the 1961 Brazilian league title, Santos qualified for the 1962 Copa Libertadores and attempted to win it for the first time in their history.
However, Pele showed up for his side as he helped them to their first Copa Libertadores trophy, scoring 4 goals in the competition, including a brace in the final.
- Led Brazil to its first-ever World Cup as a 17-year-old
Can a 17-year-old starlet perform on the biggest stage in the world? Pelé did it and scored one of the most beautiful goals the World Cup has ever seen. He shot a high cross to his chest, shot the ball over the head of an onrushing defender and then fired in a clinical volley. Seventeen years old. He later doubled his tally as Brazil won 5–2 to lift the country’s first ever World Cup trophy.
Pelé remains the youngest player to ever compete in and score in a World Cup final.
- The historic 1970 World Cup
This will forever remain legendary in the annals of Pelé’s career as he led Brazil to their third ever world title and played a talismanic role in achieving the feat.
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