2020 will be remembered for many things and one of them will be the passing of the football legend that is Diego Maradona. Many say that Maradona is the most naturally gifted footballer to ever grace the field. His skills allowed him to almost singlehandedly win the Serie A, the World Cup, and the UEFA Cup. His death has generated the age-old debate once again of who is the greatest footballer of all time. It is interesting to note that FIFA recently awarded the ‘Best Player of the 20th century’ award and gave it as a joint award to both Maradona and Pele. Maradona won because of a vote on the internet where he was the clear winner. Pele won because the second round had a jury of coaches, journalists, and officials. The argument was that many on the internet had never had the chance to see Pele play and failed to understand why he was so great. Today we want to show the records that highlight why Pele is the greatest of all time.
Brazil record goalscorer
When you consider the exceptional talent that has played for Brazil and the number of goals each player has scored then you realize it is no easy feat to have scored the most goals for the national team of any player. To play for Brazil is an incredible honor but to be the all-time leading goal scorer means you are an incredibly special player.
Pele scored 95 goals in 114 games for Brazil although only 77 of those goals were in 92 official FIFA games. Pele retired from football over 40 years ago and although many have come close to the title none of them have taken it from yet. Neymar is close with 64 goals in 103 games. It is likely that Neymar will surpass Pele soon but the goals to game ratio of Pele is simply outstanding.
Youngest world cup winner
When Pele was selected for Brazil for the 1958 World Cup at the age of 17 it was already a record. He was then the youngest player to ever make a World Cup squad. Since he played a number of younger players have featured in the world cup but none have won it. That is still an honor that belongs to Pele.
Most world cup assists
It is not as if he was being carried by the rest of the team either. Pele has the most world cup assists of any player. He has ten assists in the world cup finals and is regarded by many as the complete footballer for his talent and decision-making ability.
Most world cup wins
Arguably Pele’s greatest achievement is that he won three world cups. More than any other player in the history of football. To date, 20 players have won the world cup twice but no player has won it three times other than Pele. When you also consider that when Pele won the world cup Brazil had never won it before it makes his achievement even more impressive. He brought the first world cup back to Brazil. Pele would have likely been awarded player of the tournament in 1958 and 1970 but he missed the majority of the 1962 world cup due to injury. This does highlight how strong the team was at the time and that it wasn’t an individual effort.
The debate will rage on forever over who the best player of all time was. As those who have seen all players seem sure that Pele still holds the title and considering the accolades he still holds to this day it makes sense that Pele still holds the crown of the greatest footballer of all time.