Brazil legend Pele was widely regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, having excelled on the national and world stage for over a decade. The three-time World Cup winner died on Thursday, December 29, from colon cancer complications.
A prolific goalscorer for Santos and his national team, he will forever remain part of a greatest of all time conversation which has expanded to include exceptional talents such as Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
GOAL takes a look at Pele's achievements, including his goals, trophies and more.
- How many goals did Pele score in his career?
- How many goals did Pele score for Brazil?
- How many World Cups did Pele win?
- What trophies did Pele win?
The exact number of goals Pele scored in his career is a matter of dispute and figures vary, but he is reported to have found the net over 1,000 times.
According to FIFA's official website, Pele scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games, but it must be noted that this figure includes data from a significant number of unofficial matches, such as friendly tours with Santos and the New York Cosmos. Guinness World Records, meanwhile, state that Pele scored 1,289 times in 1,363 matches.
The bulk of Pele's goals were scored for Santos, where he spent the majority of his career. He scored 643 goals for Santos in 656 competitive appearances. He netted 64 strikes in 107 games for the New York Cosmos.
The Rec Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF) reported that Pele's official goal tally - based on competitive matches only - was 767 goals in 831 games, though their overall (including unofficial games) tally varies from the others too, putting the Brazilian at 1,284 strikes in 1,375 fixtures.
Pele scored 77 goals for Brazil in 92 appearances. He is the joint-top goalscorer of all time for Brazil, alongside modern superstar Neymar, who matched his tally at the 2022 World Cup.
He scored his first goal for his country in 1957 in a 2-1 defeat against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro and continued to find the net regularly through the late 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s.
Of Pele's 77 goals, 12 were scored in World Cups, with his biggest tally for a single tournament being six in the successful 1958 campaign.
His last goal for Brazil came in a 1971 friendly match against Austria in Sao Paulo, which ended 1-1.
Pele played at four World Cups and was part of three winning Brazil teams: in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
The striker exploded onto the scene at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, playing a pivotal role as the Selecao clinched their first ever world title.
Brazil won the World Cup again in 1962 in Chile, but Pele's influence at that tournament was unfortunately limited due to an injury sustained early in the campaign.
They could not defend their title at the 1966 World Cup as hosts England sealed glory, but reclaimed the crown in 1970, with Pele - an elder statesman among a cast of exciting stars - winning the Golden Ball.
Trophies Pele won with Brazil
|No. of titles
|1958, 1962, 1970
Trophies Pele won with Santos
|No. of titles
|Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A
|1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968
|1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973
Trophies Pele won with New York Cosmos
|No. of titles
|North American Soccer League Atlantic Conference
|North American Soccer League Bowl
As well as three World Cups with Brazil, Pele was highly successful with Santos during his career.
Playing in what is sometimes referred to as a Golden Generation at the club, Pele won six Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A titles and two Copas Libertadores.
Domestic glory also came in the Campeonato Paulista - Sao Paulo's state championship - with Pele collecting 10 winners medals in that competition, as well as four Torneio Rio-Sao Paulo triumphs.
Having already won the World Cup with Brazil, he became a world champion at club level as Santos defeated Benfica to win the Intercontinental Cup in 1962, repeating the feat the following year against AC Milan.
In addition to two Intercontinental Cups, Pele's Santos won the short-lived Intercontinental Supercup in 1968.
In the closing stages of his career, Pele won the North American Soccer League Atlantic Conference and the North American Soccer League Soccer Bowl - both in 1977.
Interestingly, Pele never won a Copa America (or, as it was known then, the South American Championship), with Argentina and Uruguay dominating the tournament during his playing days.
The legendary forward also never played in the Olympics.