Pele, perhaps the most famous soccer player of all time, has done many important things to advance soccer and his professional career. He has played in more games and scored more career goals than any other soccer player in history and is an international sports hero.
1. Unbreakable Record
Though Pele was a very skilled soccer player and broke many records, there is one record he was never able to beat. His father held the record for having the most header-scored in one game. Five goals is a high number single player, single game score regardless of how they’re achieved, but his father’s 5 header-scored goals in one game is probably an unbeatable goal.
2. Born in Tres Coracoes
Pele was born in 1940 in the small Brazillian town of Tres Coracoes, “three hearts” in Portuguese. Portuguese, the native language of Brazil, is Pele’s first language. Pele was the oldest of three children in his family. His father, Joao Ramos do Nascimento, was a famous soccer player, too.
3. International Debut in 1957
Pele played for, Santos, a very successful team for whom he, at 15, scored the winning goal in a 7-1 victory over another state team. He made his international debut against Brazil in July of 1957. Unfortunately, Brazil lost to Argentina 2-1, Pele having scored the only goal.
4. 8 Goals in One Game
While playing for Santos against another Brazilian team, Botafogo, in the Brazilian league, Pele scored 8 out of the 11 points scored for his team. The game was a complete blowout, as the final score was 11-0. This is an amazing achievement for any soccer player regardless of the skill level. It is rare that a single player will have multiple opportunities to shoot on the goal in a single game, never mind actually scoring.
5. 1000th Career Goal
Pele scored his 1000th career goal on a penalty kick. In 1969, there were eighty thousand fans in the Maracana Stadium in Brazil to watch him convert the penalty kick into a goal. Though he would later say that it was the worst penalty kick he’d ever taken, was nonetheless his 1,000th career goal. Fans mobbed the field after the goal was scored and it took more than a half hour just to get the game started again.
6. Amazing Career
Pele had an amazing career and scored more goals than many people could dream of in a career. He played in a total of 1,366 games and scored 1,283 goals during his career. This is the highest number of goals scored by any single person in the history of the sport. Many doubt that this number will ever be beat.
7. 93 Goals in 97 Games
Pele was a very important player for Brazil on the international scene and won 97 international cups. He scored an amazing 93 goals in 97 games.
8. Hat Trick
A hat trick denotes scoring three or more goals during a single game. Pele scored 129 hat tricks during his career. Many people are awe struck at the number of goals Pele has scored throughout his career. It is a incredible feat to score three goals in one game once; Pele did it 129 different times.
9. Height of Brazilian Soccer Fame
In 1970, during the World Cup finals against Mexico, the heyday of Brazilian soccer, commentators Malcolm Allison and Paddy Crerand said: “How you spell Pele? Easy. G-O-D.”
10. National Hero
Pele is a national hero and idol in his native Brazil. He is very well known for his contributions to soccer and has inspired thousands, if not millions, of children to play soccer over the years.