Brazilian football legend Pele passed away at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday owing to multiple organ dysfunction caused due to colon cancer. The global icon was diagnosed with cancer in 2021 and had been hospitalised for over a week. He was aged 82.

Also read: Pele, Brazilian football legend dies at 82 after battle with colon cancer, Football clubs pay tribute

The Octogenarian was one of football’s earliest and most celebrated icons and was a three time World Cup winner (1958,62 and 70). In a career spanning over two decades, he scored a record 1,281 goals in 1,366 matches as per FIFA’s records, the highest in the game so far. In 14 matches spread over four World Cups, Pele scored 12 goals.

Also read: Pele’s message on Diego Maradona’s death finally comes true as Brazilian football star dies at 82

In this article we have a look at the top moments from Pele’s glittering World Cup career.

1. Brazil’s third goal in the 1958 World Cup final over Sweden 

With Brazil leading 2-1 after 55 minutes,  Pele received a long pass with his chest ahead of a defender and took the ball and lobbed it over another defender, was fouled in the process and was guaranteed a penalty if he fell, but swiftly gained control and promptly deposited the ball in the net with supreme technique. By scoring in a final at the age of 17 years and 249 days, Pele became the youngest to score in a World Cup final, a record he holds till date.

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2. Brazil’s first goal in the group stages of 1970 WC against Romania

Pele took a free kick after being fouled just outside the box in the 19th minute. He ran and scored a 20-yard free kick that waltzed past seven Romanian defenders to gift Pele his first goal of the 1970 edition of the Cup, his 9th overall World Cup goal.

Also read: When Pele, Bobby Moore, remembered for iconic shirt swap in Mexico 70, starred in a Sylvester Stallone movie

3. Brazil’s first goal in the 1970 WC final against Italy

After a throw was taken in and sent as an aerial pass, the mercurial forward jumped forward to score a crucial header that gave Brazil an early lead in the 20th minute of play. Pele’s celebrations with teammate Jairzinho on scoring the is considered one of the most iconic moments in football history.

4. Pele’s second in the hat-trick  in the semis of 1958 WC over France

After having received the ball after a brilliant set up, Pele  passes the ball to a fellow Brazilian, only for him to hit it to a defender. However, before the defender gets back to controlling the ball, the super-agile 17-year-old grabs it from him to score a stunner that races into the net. 

Also read: Why Pele never played in European football leagues

5. Pele’s hat-trick goal over France in the semis of the 1958 WC

With Brazil leading 4-1 after a second half brace by Pele, the teenage sensation gets another chance, this time with only one defender in the box to be tackled with. The boy tosses the ball up, gains momentum with a light jump to shoot from a fine angle, that misses the remarkable goalie Dominique Colonna’s dive to fetch Brazil’s fifth goal and Pele’ hat-trick. The Santos star thus became the youngest to score a hat-trick in a World Cup, another record that stands unmatched to this day.