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The boy from Brazil
Around the Academy:

Pele in the 1970 World Cup
Pele was the complete centre-forward
Pele

Imagine a striker with the pace of Michael Owen, the skill of Thierry Henry, the heading ability of Alan Shearer and the finishing prowess of Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Done it? Well, then you've got a player about half as good as Pele.

The reason Pele is rated as the best footballer ever is simple - he could do everything.

Most of all, he could score goals. In total he hit the net an amazing 1,283 times in 1,365 appearances.

Not only that, but Pele's personality and charisma made him a perfect role model off the pitch too.

He famously called football "the beautiful game" - and then showed us what he meant.

Pele
One of 1,283 goals

Pele made his World Cup debut in 1958 at just 17, scoring six goals as Brazil won their first trophy.

But he's best remembered for his role in Brazil's 1970 World Cup side.

There are two moments from the tournament which define Pele's genius.

The first is an incredible shot from inside the Brazil half - some 70 yards out! - which flies just wide of the target.

The second is an outrageous dummy - where Pele runs diagonally across the box and beats the goalkeeper without touching the ball.

Neither chance actually resulted in a goal, but it didn't matter. Fans across the globe had never seen such skill before.

(Look out for the famous TV clips next time you watch a Brazil match!)

The brilliant Brazilians went on to beat Italy 4-1 in the final in Mexico City.

They are regarded as the greatest football team ever.

Verdict: Stands for everything that is good about the beautiful game. Simply the best.



Football's legends
Pele
Diego Maradona
Johan Cruyff
Bobby Moore

Pele factfile
Born: Brazil, 1940
Caps: 92
Goals: 77
Likely to say: "Football is like a beautiful woman"
Unlikely to say: "Oh no, I've missed a sitter"

Did you know?
Pele's real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento - easy for you to say!



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