A three-time World Cup winner who scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games, Pele is known as the "king of soccer," the world's most beautiful game.
"The difficult, the extraordinary, is not scoring a thousand goals like Pelé. It is creating a goal like Pelé," wrote Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
It aptly encapsulates, if it is possible to summarize, the grandeur of the greatest soccer player of all time. It's more than a tribute; it's a bow to the greatest soccer player, and sports figure, of all time.
- Pele, king of 'beautiful game,' dies at age 82
"Pelé was one of the few who contradicted my theory: Instead of 15 minutes of fame, he will have 15 centuries," Andy Warhol said. He was deeply and eternally right.
A young Pele, circa 1958. At 17 years old, Pele became the youngest to score in a World Cup and youngest to win the quadrennial event. Popperfoto/Getty Images Pele poses with fans at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, where Brazil went on to win their first of five World Cups. Pics United/Icon Sportswire Pele eyes the World Cup's Jules Rimet Trophy in 1958. Brazil went on to win their first of five World Cups that year, and Pele was on three World Cup-winning teams. Popperfoto/Getty Images This moment captures Pele's last action at the 1962 World Cup in Chile, as he tore a thigh muscle after his shot on goal against Czechoslovakia. The group stage match ended 0-0, but Brazil beat the Czechs in the final, winning 3-1. Popperfoto/Getty Images After Pele's injury in the 1962 World Cup, Garrincha, left, stepped up and guided Brazil to their second World Cup title. Garrincha (or "little bird"), a winger, is regarded as arguably one of the best dribblers in the world. S&G/PA Images via Getty Images Pele had incredible jumping ability to the point of being able to leap even higher than a goalkeeper's outstretched arm. Here, he angled for a header in an international friendly in 1963, although Portugal beat Brazil, 1-0. Popperfoto/Getty Images Nobody did it better: Pele practically patented the iconic overhead bicycle kick. In this 1965 friendly against Belgium at famed Maracana Stadium in Rio, Brazil celebrated in style, 5-0, with Pele netting three goals. AP Images Who wouldn't want to meet Pele? Sen. Robert Kennedy seized the photo opportunity with world-famous Pele after a match in Rio de Janeiro in 1965. Bettmann/Getty Images The 1966 World Cup, hosted and won by England, did not go well for Brazil. After a victory over Bulgaria in the opener, in which Pele scored his only goal of the tournament, Brazil lost to Portugal and Hungary to bow out in the group stage. Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images Pele wasn't just a superstar for Brazil. He played for Santos FC for 16 years, and here Pele is carried by fans after scoring his 100th goal on Nov. 19, 1969, at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Globo via Getty Images Lounging by the pool at his hotel in Mexico during the World Cup in 1970, Pele plays guitar. Brazil won in what was arguably one of the best World Cup tournaments ever. Popperfoto/Getty Images On Oct. 18, 1974, Pele runs onto the pitch to play his last match with his club, Santos FC, where he began his career in 1956. Keystone/Getty Images Pele's move to the NY Cosmos of the North American Soccer League sparked a soccer rebirth in the United States. Here he is accosted by fans after a match at Giants Stadium in the mid-1970s. Robert Riger/Getty Images Two of the greatest ever embrace. On Oct. 1, 1977, at a ceremony honoring Pele's final game with the Cosmos at Giants Stadium, Muhammad Ali said, "Football is more beautiful than boxing, but I am more handsome than you." AP Photo The king with his crown, honored by Mexico's Club América on Feb. 4, 1979. AP Photo On the set of "Victory" in 1980, Pele starred in a John Huston-directed WWII film about POWs arranging an escape after a soccer match against the Germans in Nazi-occupied France. Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine led the cast. Corbis/Getty Images Pele celebrated his 50th birthday at Milan's Giuseppe Meazza stadium with an exhibition match on Oct. 31, 1990. AP Photo/Luca Bruno FIFA honored Pele with a grand prix award as the "Footballer of the Century" at a gala on Dec. 11, 2000. Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images Pele shakes hands with former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 17, 2007. Mandela turned 89 at the time and had a "90 Minutes for Mandela" match played in Cape Town. Chris Ricco/AFP via Getty Images None other than Pele was on hand at Corona Park in Flushing Meadows to announce the return of the New York Cosmos on Aug. 1, 2010. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Cosmos
At a photo shoot in Santos, Brazil, on April 25, 2014, Pele re-creates his famous 1970 World Cup final celebration. Luiz Maximiano for ESPN