In 1957, at the age of sixteen, Pele made his first international appearance marking history within the sport of futbol. Despite the controversial argument with the sport being called football, soccer, etc. It’s no argument Pele redefined a sense of nationalism and gained global respect for his contribution. His death caused millions of fans to mourn but also became a realization for fans and athletes to be equally inspiring as he did in his everyday life.

Futbol itself is a universal experience that gathers people to share their cultures. With the influence of FIFA hosting one of the biggest leagues in the world, with an average of 16,783,000 viewers per game, Brazil is the most successful national team in World Cup history. They’ve won a total of five World Cups; in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002. Three out of five World Cup wins, Pele participated and ultimately led his country to success by being the national team’s captain. His achievements within FIFA marks him as a legend and leaves him as the only soccer player who’s won the most World Cup’s while also being the youngest to ever participate.

Retiring in 1977, his records speak for itself as no player has yet to break them…Guinness World Record has stated that Pele made “1,279 goals in 1,363 games” within his entire career. In 1999, he was named the “Athlete of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee after raising awareness of how football is an inspiring sport and open to all backgrounds, genders, and cultures.

Pele was a simple man with great intentions. Throughout his life, he showed the importance of being a good sportsmanship in and outside of the field. As he had a positive mentality, it brought the best out of fans who viewed him through games and admirers who respected his activism. “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.” His jersey number, 10, will forever hold a significance in Brazilian culture and his unique character will never be looked down upon as nothing but admiration and loyalty towards his legacy.