On December 29, the world lost the legendary, Pele. To honour his remarkable legacy, we’re looking at what we believe to be his top five goals.
Before the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the dazzling Brazilian stood alone as the greatest player on the planet.
Responsible for the phrase, ‘the beautiful game’, Pele left crowds in awe as he sailed past defenders with his flashy array of skills and incredible ability on the ball.
In a career spent predominantly at Santos, the player guided his beloved side to six league titles. But it was his showings on the international stage that really set him apart from the pack.
In a testament to his sheer brilliance, the legend lifted the World Cup on three separate occasions, an achievement noted with FIFA’s decision to acknowledge him with their ‘Player of the Century Award’.
The popular athlete revolutionised the game. And without him, the sport wouldn’t be where it is today. So without further ado, here are his best-ever finishes.
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5) Pele vs Romania – (1970)
While the Três Corações native was renowned for his silky skills, he also carried an incredible amount of power. And during a fixture against Romania, he proved this in abundance.
The icon took an almighty run-up before smashing the ball into the back of the net, with a velocity so fierce it rendered the goalkeeper helpless.
4) Pele vs Sweden (1958 World Cup)
While most 17-year-olds spent their teenage years at the local dance and listening to Chuck Berry records, Pele was tearing apart the international scene.
In the final of the 1958 World Cup, he effortlessly flicked the ball over a defender before sending it rocketing into the back of the net.
3) UEFA International Cup Final – 1962
In the modern game, the world’s elite players operate on only the most pristine of pitches. But back in Pele’s day, you were playing in pretty dire conditions.
However, in a testament to his talent, he glided past several players like a knife through butter before picking out the perfect finish.
This piece of magic showcased his ability to compete at the highest level regardless of the circumstances.
2) The world-famous bicycle kick for New York Cosmos
Following an 18-year run with Santos, Pele blessed the American fans by signing for New York Cosmos in 1975.
And in possibly the most significant moment in the club’s history, the sporting sensation somersaulted through the air to send the US crowd into raptures. Thus announcing himself to the public as a genuine sporting superstar.
1) Pele vs Juventus
Like the Lochness Monster and Big Foot, there’s no concrete evidence that this goal exists. Yet as fans, we all like to believe it did.
In a virtual recreation, Pele juggled the ball over multiple players, including the goalkeeper, before heading into the roof of the net. And while we can’t watch it for ourselves, after seeing footage of his touch and technique, there’s every possibility he pulled it off.
Therefore, we’ll always have this piece of genius to refer to when discussing his greatness.
Featured Image Credit: Getty