This question could be answered in a few words. Pelé is a retired professional footballer of Brazil who played as a forward. Although, thinking about it, the truth is that to say only that is to stay quite short because the national team in which was undoubtedly the best player in the world has a history full of successes.
It is true that many years have passed and that Brazil is not what it was, although it continues to give good players and has a football reputation that nobody doubts. But the mythical era of this selection has a clear protagonist. And it is none other than Pele.
From Cleaning Boots to Becoming Synonymous With Football
As you can read in the biography of Pelé, the love for the ball came from family. His father was a player, although rather bad, and his sports career ended very soon. As a child, Pele tried to combine football with a job for a living. He was a boot shiner, although at a very young age he already pointed out ways and with 15 years he signed for Santos after the main teams of the time in the country had rejected him. Then they would pull their hairs, especially when they had it in front playing as a rival.
At 17 he played his first game with Brazil and the successes began. In the 58 World Cup, they managed to take the cup home, with a game in which Pele and another of the pearls of the time, Garrincha, had a lot to do. The imaginative and spectacular game that they have later imitated, with more or less success, other players began coming out of the boots of these geniuses.
The Brazilian team led to what would later become the number one of the best players in football history as a substitute. Normal, considering his young age. But on returning from that championship he returned to his country as a hero after scoring a goal that placed the national team in the semifinals and scored 3 of the 5 goals with which Brazil crushed France. Something that was repeated in the final against Sweden, host, and organizer of the championship that year.
More Than 10 Years as Unbeatable in the World Cup
That was the first of the championships in which Brazil would position itself as the best team of the time. The legend of Pelé continued to grow and next to that of his national team. 4 years later they managed to repeat triumph. At that time the player was already considered the king of football, whose throne is currently trying to occupy Cristiano Ronaldo or Leo Messi, and that depending on who is asked deserves one or the other. The fact is that the myth is still in force.
There was a big disappointment in 66 because Brazil failed to pass the round of 16, the first time it happened in more than 30 years. The discouragement was such that even Pele said he never wanted to play a World Cup again.
Finally, in Mexico ’70 he played with the national team again, winning a third Cup and getting the trophy in property, which forced to change the design of the Cup to the one there is now.
A historical curiosity is that what is exposed in the showcases of the Brazilian team is a replica designed by the famous Kodak brand since the original was stolen in an exhibition and has never been recovered. There are many legends around this episode since it was cast because it was made of gold until it is still preserved in a private collection and, of course, away from all eyes. The official version is the first.
Also Read: Best Brazilian Players in Football History
Other Stars That Shone Next to Pele
It is clear that a single player could not have won the championship. Although there are those who attest that if someday there had been someone capable, that would have been Pele without any doubt. His speed and creativity within the field motivated the teammates and demoralized the rivals in the same way.
In the 1970 World Cups in Mexico, others played with which the one that for many is the best alignment in history was formed. Of them, with Pelé there are four other names worthy of note: Jairzinho, Tostao, Gerson, and Rivelino. Of the five, only Jairzinho scored a goal in every game. His class was the perfect complement to Pelé’s physical strength, Rivelino’s shot, Gerson’s touch and Tostao’s ability, unknown at the time.
The Canarinha owes a lot of his fame to these players. It is true that Pele was undoubtedly the great standard of the national team, which was followed without hesitation by all his teammates. In addition to the World Cups, many other cups were raised.