(b. 1940) Brazilian footballer

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1940– )

Brazilian Association footballer, regarded as the greatest inside forward of all time. He was awarded an honorary British knighthood in 1997.

Born in humble circumstances, Pelé was only fifteen when he joined Santos (São Paulo). The following year he scored his first senior goal and in 1958, at the age of seventeen, he played for Brazil when they won the World Cup for the first time. Pelé became a national hero and a world-class star. He appeared in four World Cup finals and by the time he retired from international football in 1971 had played for Brazil 110 times, scoring a total of 97 goals. He stayed with Santos until 1974 and then played for New York Cosmos (1975–77). In all, he scored a total of over 1200 goals in 1363 matches. He was appointed Brazil's special minister for sports in 1994.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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