Pele goldsmith is the king of the beautiful game

The Brazilian Pele, the football legend who passed away Thursday at the age of 82, was the most beloved player of his generation or in any other generation, and one of the greatest touches of the ball in the history of the game.

He won World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and provided a myriad of skills and flair that made him the perfect embodiment of the golden age of samba football in the 20th century.

Not only was he present in the football world, he went beyond the pitch, becoming a money-making phenomenon, putting his name on sportswear, credit cards and watches, among a range of products.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940, and made his debut for Santos in 1956, when he was still fifteen years old.

He was called up to the national team a year later, scoring a goal on his debut in a match against Argentina.

He was included in the national team participating in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, before he reached the age of eighteen.

His participation was the subject of fierce debate in Brazil, where critics questioned whether the skinny teenager had the physical specifications required for the tournament.

The Black Gem was unavailable for the first two matches as he was still recovering from a knee injury upon his arrival in Sweden.

Pele could also have stayed on the bench in the third match against the Soviet Union, had the coach of the national team at the time, Vicente Viola, responded to the advice of the psychiatrist, who considered that the player was not qualified for the task.

But Viola bet on Pele, and pushed him from the start of the match, which ended with a Brazilian victory with a clean double, and the young player made a distinguished offer that was mainly based on working with Garrincha, one of the stars of the national team at the time.

In the first match, Pele performed with a performance that made him a key player in the “Samba Dancers” squad, and it became impossible to do without him.

He scored his first goal in the tournament in the quarter-finals against Wales, to give his country a 1-0 victory and qualify for the Golden Square to meet France, where he scored a historic hat-trick that led his country to a 5-2 victory.

Brazil qualified for the final match to meet host Sweden, but that did not arouse any fear in the heart of the young player, who continued his brilliance and scored two goals to contribute to weaving the first star on the yellow shirt after a match that also ended with Brazil's victory 5-2.

Pele, at the age of 17 years and 249 days, became the youngest player to win the World Cup, and the youngest player to score in its final match.

But the two subsequent versions did not witness a similar brilliance for the player who then became a legend.

In the 1962 edition in Chile, with more experience and a stronger structure, Pele was able to repeat his feat and lead his country to impressive victories, and he gave a hint of what he wanted to do in his country’s opening match against Mexico by making one goal and scoring another after an amazing individual performance during which he dribbled four players.

But his hopes hit the wall of injury in the second match against Czechoslovakia, after aggravating a previous injury he had, which forced him to sit on the bench throughout the tournament in which Garrincha led Brazil to win its second title.

Pele's frustration with the injury that limited his participation in Chile cannot be compared with the disappointment he experienced in the 1966 World Cup in England, where he was literally "kicked" out of the tournament, without being protected by the referees from harsh contacts.

Pele became the first player to score in three World Cup finals, after scoring in the first match against Bulgaria (2-0), despite the rough interventions of the opponent's defenders, which kept him out of the second match against Hungary (1-3).

He returned in the third match against Portugal, but he came out crying from Goodison Park in Liverpool, after being fouled by two strong tackles from defender Joao Morais.

Brazil bid farewell to the World Cup in the first round for the first time since 1934, and Pele swore not to participate again, saying, "I do not want to end my life with disability."

Synonym of beautiful game

Fortunately, the player did not fulfill his promise, and returned four years later in the World Cup Mexico at the age of 30 to lead a team that is considered one of the best of all time.

After the disappointing 1966 World Cup at the football level, the 1970 World Cup, especially thanks to the deserved Brazilian victory and Pele's performance during it, became synonymous with the beautiful game.

In Mexico, the player produced a performance whereby his missed chances are now remembered as much as the goals he scored.

Although he continued to play with Santos, and then moved to the American New York Cosmos, Pele retired internationally in 1971, during an emotional farewell match in front of 180,000 fans at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, with 92 international matches and 77 goals.

Former England star Bobby Moore said of him at the time: "Pele was the most complete player, he had everything."

Once the World Cups were over, Pele, who was nicknamed "O Re" (The King), helped try to launch a soccer revolution in the United States.

In 1977, he led the Cosmos to the local league title, in his last season with the club, in whose ranks German legend Franz Beckenbauer, Italian striker Giorgio Quinalia and former Brazil captain Carlos Alberto passed through.

Pele participated with Moore in a movie alongside American actors Sylvester Stallone and English Sir Michael Caine in 1981 entitled "Escape to Victory" ("Escape to Victory"), which tells the story of Allied prisoners during World War II.

Between 1995 and 1998, Pele became an exceptional minister of sports in his country, in addition to playing an ambassadorial role for many brands.

He suffered from many health problems at separate times in his life, and underwent surgery on the hips, fragmentation of kidney stones, and removal of a tumor in the colon.

However, his health condition did not prevent him from living a full, normal life, as he married for the third time in 2016, at the age of seventy-five, to Marcia Aoki, who is 33 years younger than him.

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