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Gender Male
Ethnic Brazilian
Job Brazilian Footballer
Desc Breaking onto the scene as a sprightly teenager during the 1958 World Cup, Pele’s status as one of the finest talents the world has ever seen - and is ever likely to see - was firmly cemented when he scored a stunning solo goal in the final against Sweden. He won three World Cups and, on an individual level, scored more goals than anyone else has ever managed in the history of the game. No further explanation needed


Org Brazil National Team
Club as Player Santos FC
  New York Cosmos


Son Edinho


Twitter @Pele

2013 02 25 Retrieve

[Pele on Bobby Moore] He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against.

2013 08 03 Retrieve

[Pele on Messi vs Neymar] People like to compare Neymar with Messi, but Messi already has years of experience. So does Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s a forward who scores more goals. But, in the future, I think Neymar will be even better

2013 11 23 Retrieve

[Pele on Zidane] Individually I think Zidane was better than Messi. Zidane was amazing and the team-mates he played with were not up to the standard of Messi’s - he plays with Xavi and Iniesta at Barcelona

2014 05 04 Retrieve

[Pele on who has been the greatest player since he retired] The most complete was Zidane. We had Cruyff, Zico was excellent, Socrates. Over the last ten years, even though we’ve had Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the most complete was Zidane

2014 11 12 Retrieve

[Pele to Maradona on 2005 tv show] You are an example because you are a conqueror

2015 03 28 Retrieve

[Pele on Neymar] I think him becoming the new king, the new Pele, is impossible. My mother and father have shut down the factory

2015 04 11 Retrieve

[Pele on Messi] When he’s with Barcelona, with a team he already knows and knows well, he’s a player. But Messi, when he’s with the Argentinian team, is not the same thing

2016 04 16 Retrieve

[Pele on Steven Gerrard] Gerrard is an excellent player, absolutely world-class. If I was a manager, everywhere I went I would buy Steven Gerrard. He is what Brazil needs, because he is always looking forward and has a big heart. Two years ago I saw Gerrard play and then I saw him in Tokyo in a game against Sao Paulo. I said then that Gerrard is a great player. To me he is one of the best midfielders in the world. He is an excellent player

2016 04 16 Retrieve

[Pele joking about re-lacing his boots to bring home gold for Brazil at this summer’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament] The only title Brazil doesn’t have is the Olympic tournament champion. The only tournament I never played in, because I was professional, was the Olympics. Now, we’re going to have the Olympics in Brazil. I think I’m going to prepare to play this Olympics. Maybe I’ll win this championship for Brazil. In five months, I have to be prepared for that!

2016 04 23 Retrieve

[Pele revealed he was close to joining Spanish giants Real Madrid and Italian side Napoli during his playing career] There were many times when I was very close to signing with Real Madrid, and then once more with Napoli in Italy. It’s not a regret. I was at Santos, and at the time they were a powerhouse

2016 05 14 Retrieve

[Pele, in a letter to his younger self for The Players’ Tribune] At the end of the ‘58 final, you will pass out and fall to the ground. Even today, this is a moment that is difficult to explain. The emotion is simply too much for your body. When your team-mates wake up, you will cry. You always cry, Edson, even later in life. You are an emotional person who cries easily

2016 06 09 Retrieve

[Pele asked his fellow World Cup winner if he knows his compatriot personally, prompting Maradona to offer an unguarded response that he has no personality] Ah, I get it, he’s not like we were back in the days. In the 70s we [Brazil] had really good players like Rivellino, Gerson, Tostao. Not like Argentina now, which depends only on Messi. He [Maradona] is saying that Messi is a good player, there’s no doubt about it, but he has no personality

2016 10 29 Retrieve

[Pele leads the tributes for former Brazil captain and legend Carlos Alberto Parreira who tragically passed away this week] I have so many good memories of our time together as team-mates and champions at Santos FC, the Brazil national team and New York Cosmos. We had a winning partnership, and even after football we remained very close. I send my sincere condolences to his family and may his soul Rest in Peace. Dear God, please take care of our ‘Capitao’

2018 04 21 Retrieve

[Pele speaks on the 60th anniversary of his first World Cup trophy with Brazil] I played four World Cups. The first one always is a little special, because I didn’t expect it, because I was 17 years old. My father was a football player too and when my father came to my house after work, he said ‘listen, you have been selected for the national team of Brazil’. I said ‘Daddy, don’t make a joke’. He said ‘no, no, no, it’s not a joke, it’s true’. I started to cry, because it was a big surprise to me

2018 05 12 Retrieve

[Pele writes about the news that Dani Alves will miss out on the World Cup due to injury] I am so sad to hear this. Footballers hate missing games but I know first-hand that missing World Cup games is the worst feeling

2018 06 09 Retrieve

[Pele believes the South Americans need to play as a team to win at Russia 2018] Neymar is to me one of the best players in the world. Today, he is more mature and he has more experience, but he isn’t going to win the World Cup on his own. It’s teams that win the World Cup. The greatest Brazil team of all-time was the one in 1970, with Tostao, Rivellino, Gerson and Pele all wearing the number 10 shirts for their clubs. In the 1970 World Cup, we spent more than six months together. That’s why it worked

2018 09 24 Tweet

Congratulations to Luka Modric and Marta on winning the #TheBest [The Best FIFA Men/Women Player 2018] awards tonight. It’s been a privilege to see you both play this season

2018 12 08 Retrieve

[Pele gives his opinion on some of the game’s great players] As far as I’m concerned, Diego Maradona was one of the best players ever. If you ask me, ‘Was he better than Messi?’ Yes, he was. Much better. Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff are also better. They’re also excellent players

2018 12 22 Retrieve

[Pele believes French star Kylian Mbappe can emulate his illustrious career] I already complimented (Kylian) Mbappe last year, saying he was a great player. He won the World Cup at 19, I was only 17 years old when I won it. I said to him that he could equal me, I think he can become the new Pele. A lot of people think I said that as a joke, but no, it’s not a joke!

2019 01 19 Retrieve

[Pele speaks about Kylian Mbappe] He won the World Cup at 19, I was only 17. I teased him saying he had almost equalised. I think he can become the new Pele. Many people think I say that for a laugh, but no, it’s not a joke

2019 04 06 Retrieve

[Pele talks about Kylian Mbappe] He is not yet the king. He is undergoing tests to become the king. He still has a lot of steps ahead of him. He is young, he has just started. In football, you do not always know everything. There is always something to learn. He can always improve his game, his movements. If I can give him advice, it’s taking care of his body and looking after himself. The technique, he already has it. The physical aspect is the most important thing for an athlete today

2019 11 14 Retrieve

[Pele picks Messi as perfect playing partner and reveals his hope for Neymar renaissance] I think Leo Messi. He is a skilled player, gives assists, passes, scores, dribbles well. If we were in a team together, the opponents would have to worry about two players, not just one! Today Messi is the most complete player

Once you found two or three in every country with a great football culture. Eusebio, Antonio Simoes, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Diego Maradona, Garrincha, Didi. How many did I say? There were so many. Today we have two or three in total. Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, I would say Neymar, who in Brazil has not yet managed to become a great figure

[A three-time World Cup winner said when asked if Neymar can inspire a bid for football’s grandest prize] I hope so. I hope that at the next World Cup he is in good physical condition. People criticise him. Even I did it a few times, but we forget that he is a product of ours, of the nursery of Santos. We always want the best for him. I talk about it often with his father. Technically he is an excellent player

[Another product of the Santos academy to have rediscovered a spark of late is Gabriel Barbosa] Gabriel Barbosa made himself known with the Santos shirt, went to Europe, returned. He is a good player, I hope he has luck. But we cannot guarantee that he will break through into Europe

2019 12 02 Retrieve

[Pele in moving tribute to ‘magic’ Gordon Banks] For many people, their memory of Gordon Banks is defined by the save he made against me in 1970. I understand why. When you are a footballer, you know straight away how well you have hit the ball. I hit that header exactly as I had hoped. Exactly where I wanted it to go. And I was ready to celebrate

But then this man, Banks, appeared in my sight, like a kind of blue phantom, is how I described him. He came from nowhere and he did something I didn’t feel was possible. He pushed my header, somehow, up and over. And I couldn’t believe what I saw. Even now when I watch it l, I can’t believe it. I can’t believe how he moved so far, so fast

I scored so many goals in my life, but many people, when they meet me, always ask me about that save. While it was indeed phenomenal, my memory of Gordon is not defined by that - it is defined by his friendship. He was a kind and warm man who gave so much to people.

So, I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure. Whenever we met, it was always like we had never been apart

I have great sadness in my heart and I send condolences to the family he was so proud of. Rest in peace, my friend. Yes, you were a goalkeeper with magic. But you were also so much more. You were a fine human being

2020 02 14 Retrieve

[Pele rejects claims that he is too depressed to leave his house] Thank you for your prayers and concerns. I’m fine. I’m turning 80 this year. I have my good and bad days. This is normal for people my age. I’m not afraid, I’m determined and I’m confident in what I do. Last week, I had the honour of meeting the CBF [Brazilian Football Confederation] president in the studio I was shooting my documentary in. I had two photo sessions last month for campaigns that use my image and testimony. I have several upcoming events scheduled. I do not avoid meeting commitments from my always busy schedule. I continue to accept my physical limitations in the best possible way, but I intend to keep the ball rolling. God bless you all

2020 03 19 Retrieve

[Pele denies claims depression left him housebound] This depression thing, I don’t know if I was misunderstood. I’ve had some injuries in the past few years. I was operated on, which hindered me from doing commercials or appearing in public. People got concerned, and I thank them very much for that. But then someone came up with this story that I was depressed. I arrived here [for the interview] with the help of a walker. I’m fine, but of course, I can’t ride a bike. Maybe when I was injured and had to do an interview, I mentioned I was sad about it. But thank God I’m making a good recovery, I’m fine. I had a swollen tendon that forced me to medicate. It hurt a little and made movement a little difficult. But thank God I’m conscious - and not talking nonsense

I never imagined I would be big [in football]. When Santos asked about taking me from BAC (Bauru AC, one of Pele’s youth clubs) to train at Santos, I thought it was a joke, I was 13, 14 and I wasn’t even making the first team there. But I went and got approved, I thought I was dreaming. I remember my father taking me to the Bauru bus station so I could go to train at Santos. It looked like something from another world, and now players are able to take private jets to go around. Life can be funny sometimes

2020 03 25 Retrieve

[Pele: Ronaldo the best player in the world ahead of Messi, but I’m the greatest of all-time] Right now I think Cristiano Ronaldo is the most consistent player out there, but you can’t forget about Messi

[When asked he if was better than Ronaldo and Messi] That’s a tough question to answer. I’ve been asked many times. We mustn’t forget Zico and Ronaldinho. People always talk about European players like [Franz] Beckenbauer and [Johan] Cruyff. It’s not my fault, but I think I was better than all of them. There will only be one Pele. There won’t be anyone else like me

2020 03 28 Retrieve

[Pele on who the best footballer] It’s a tough question to answer. They’ve asked me many times. Not [just] Messi. [We] can’t forget Zico, Ronaldinho Gaucho. People always talk about Europeans - [Franz] Beckenbauer, [Johan] Cruyff. It’s not my fault. I think Pele was better than all of them. Why? Because everybody keeps comparing the others to me