1940-10-23 to Present
BrazilEdson Arantes do Nascimento, (born 23 October 1940), known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is regarded by many in the sport, including football writers, players, and fans, as the greatest player of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.
When the 1962 World Cup started, Pelé was the best rated player in the world. In the first match of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, against Mexico, Pelé assisted the first goal and then scored the second one, after a run past four defenders, to go up 2–0. He injured himself in the next game while attempting a long-range shot against Czechoslovakia. This would keep him out of the rest of the tournament.
Pelé retired from Brazilian club football although he continued to occasionally play for Santos in official competitive matches. Two years later, he came out of semi-retirement to sign with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL) for the 1975 season.
FIFA Player of the Century was a one-off award created by FIFA to decide the greatest football playerof the 20th century, announced at the annual FIFA World gala, held in Rome on 11 December 2000. Diego Maradona and Pelé were joint winners of the award.