President Barack Obama summed up the feelings of the world when he wrote down the following words in a tweet about the legend:
Those who first saw Pele playing as a teenage kid for his then-team Santos of Brazil were just overwhelmed by his skill level at that age:
Here are the words of a German film director Werner Herzog when he saw him play in Munich in 1960.
“I immediately was mesmerized by this kid Pele, Santos won 9 to 1. They scored one after the other and I saw something like magic, a kid scoring one goal after the other and doing things on the field that I never thought would be possible. Pure, total magic. And it’s still with me.”
Pele joined the Brazilian national team at 17 years of age for a World Cup held in Sweden in 1958 and became the youngest human being to score a goal in the World Cup.
He was just a little boy. This was one of the 1,281 goals he lived to score in the beautiful game for clubs and country.
Brazil went on to win the 1958 World Cup beating the home team Sweden with the then 17-year-old kid as their hero in mid-field.
On June 29, 1958, Brazil defeats the host nation Sweden 5-2 to win its first World Cup. Brazil came into the tournament as a favorite, and did not disappoint, thrilling the world with their spectacular play, which was often referred to as the “beautiful game.”
Nobody could believe that some 17-year-old kid was terrorizing every other team in the World Cup and leading his team to win it all. It never happened before nor since. That was Pele in 1958.
And more was to come.
Pele was often a consistent and enduring player and also liked to do spectacular things on the field for his team and for the fans and he truly has no equals in the game of football. The way he scored, some people may think he was a striker or a forward with his No. 10 spot, but in reality, Pele was a mid-fielder who comes at the other teams’ defense and everyone is shaking not knowing what he was up to.
From his first World Cup win in 1958, Pele went on to win three World Cup trophies for Brazil and FIFA gave Brazil the World Cup trophy to keep forever after they won it three times. And here is the football boss after Brazil took the World Cup in 1970. He threw everything at it.
In his home town Tres Caracoes in Minas state in Brazil, they have a statute for him and that is just part of the love they have for him down there from when he was 16 years old and joined Santos team in Brazil winning dozens of trophies for the club.
And finally, Pele retired from football in 1977 after playing a game in New York playing for his team Cosmos in a stadium filled with over 75,000 fans. Pele joined Cosmos in 1975 at age 35 and still very good. For two years Pele was playing football in New York and all of a sudden the game started to attract fans and young Americans wanted to kick this thing called soccer. The rest is history.
Rest in Peace big guy. You are a gift to our universe that will keep giving. Thank you for hanging around this planet for 82 years and leaving us with memories that will last for centuries.
Rest in Peace legend and Greet your friend there for us. Tell him there are some people down here who need to be whacked in the mouth big time. For now, we will do the whacking. Good company up there. We have friends there and that is good for us. You did your job. Now we have to do ours and we will.