Pelé is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. In 1999, he was voted Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics. In the same year French weekly magazine France-Football consulted their former “Ballon D’Or” winners to elect the Football Player of the Century. Pelé came in first place. In 1999 the International Olympic Committee named Pelé the “Athlete of the Century”. In his career he scored 760 official goals. He is also the most successful Top Division goal scorer of all time with 541 League goals. In total Pelé scored 1281 goals in 1363 games.
In his native Brazil, Pelé is hailed as a national hero. He is known for his accomplishments and contributions to the game of football. He is also acknowledged for his vocal support of policies to improve the social conditions of the poor (when he scored his 1,000th goal he dedicated it to the poor children of Brazil). During his career, he became known as “The King of Football” (O Rei do Futebol).
Spotted by football star Waldemar de Brito, Pelé began playing for Santos at 15 and his national team at 16, and won his first World Cup at 17.
He is the all-time leading scorer of the Brazil national football team and is the only footballer to be a part of three World Cup-winning squads. In 1962, his second World Cup victory, he was on the Brazilian squad at the start of the World Cup but because of an injury suffered in the second match, he was not able to play the remainder of the tournament. In November 2007 FIFA announced that he would be awarded the 1962 medal retroactively, making him the only player in the world to have three World Cup winning medals.
Pelé was elected “Athlete of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee and Reuters News Agency in 1999, and by French newspaper L’Équipe in 1981.
Since his retirement in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football and has undertaken various acting roles and commercial ventures. He is currently the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos.
In February 2012, Legends 10 began handling the Pelé brand and brought all marketing and management efforts under one roof, including all intellectual property rights, global licensing, branding, endorsements, and public appearances.