Edson Arantes do Nascimento or Pele hung up his boots in 1977 after winning a plethora of trophies with club and country. The Brazilian legend won three World Cups in his long and illustrious career. Pele was named FIFA Player of the Century alongside Diego Maradona in 2000. Many refer him to as the best athlete of the past century and some believe him to be the best ever. He holds the Guinness World Record for most World Cup wins (3) and most career goals (1283 goals in 1363 games).
Pele is admired by fans and football professionals all over the world. Here are a few quotes on Pele:
Quotes on Pele:
“The greatest player in history was Di Stefano. I refuse to classify Pele as a player. He was above that.”
– Ferenc Puskas, a Real Madrid and Hungary legend.
“When I saw Pele play, it made me feel I should hang up my boots.”
– Just Fontaine, former France international
Pelé is the greatest player of all time. He reigned supreme for 20 years. All the others – Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini – rank beneath him. There’s no one to compare with Pelé.”
– Franz Beckenbauer, the greatest German player of all-time.
“There’s Pele the man, and then Pele the player. And to play like Pele is to play like God. “
– Eusebio, one of the best Portuguese players of all-time.
“In some countries they wanted to touch him, in some they wanted to kiss him. In others they even kissed the ground he walked on. I thought it was beautiful, just beautiful.”
– Clodoaldo, former Brazil midfielder.
“The best player ever? Pele. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both great players with specific qualities, but Pele was better.”
– Osvaldo Ardiles, 1978 World Cup winner with Argentina
“His great secret was improvisation. Those things he did were in one moment. He had an extraordinary perception of the game.”
– Carlos Alberto Torres, former teammate of Pele.
“Pele was the most complete player”
– Bobby Moore, England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain
“I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I went away convinced I had been undone by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of us.”’
– Costa Pereira on Benfica’s 5-2 loss to Santos in the 1962 Intercontinental Cup in Lisbon
“Pele was one of the few who contradicted my theory: instead of 15 minutes of fame, he will have 15 centuries.”
– Andy Warhol quotes on Pele
“I’m a Pele fan from way back when I was a kid, and then there was always this thing later about Pele and Maradona. I was young and impressionable as a kid but it was always Pele for me.”
– Johan Cruyff
“I told myself before the game, ‘he’s made of skin and bones just like everyone else’. But I was wrong.”
– Tarcisio Burgnich, the Italy defender who marked Pele in the Mexico World Cup 1970 Final
“I sometimes feel as though football was invented for this magical player.”
– Sir Bobby Charlton
Malcolm Allison: “How do you spell Pele?”
Pat Crerand: “Easy: G-O-D.”
– British television commentators during Mexico 1970
“Pele played football for 22 years, and in that time he did more to promote world friendship and fraternity than any other ambassador anywhere.”
– J.B. Pinheiro, the Brazilian ambassador to the United Nations
“My name is Ronald Reagan, I’m the President of the United States of America. But you don’t need to introduce yourself, because everyone knows who Pele is.”
– Ronald Reagan quotes on Pele
“The difficulty, the extraordinary, is not to score 1,000 goals like Pele – it’s to score one goal like Pele.”
– Carlos Drummond de Andrade, celebrated Brazilian poet
“Pele was the greatest – he was simply flawless. And off the pitch he is always smiling and upbeat. You never see him bad-tempered. He loves being Pele.”