The youngest football player to play in a World Cup final match and the greatest player of all times. Yes, you guessed it right, it’s Edson Arantes do Nascimento a.k.a Pele.
He started his football career in 1956 but 1958 was quite a remarkable year for Pele as he not only helped Santos to win at Campeonato Parlista, which is one of the top-flight professional football league in Brazil but also helped them in scoring 58 goals, which is still unbeatable. In the same year, he made significant contributions in the quarter finals, semi- finals and finals of 1958 World Cup and scored six goals in four matches. He broke a lot of records in the World Cup of 1958.
He received numerous prestigious honours including Brazil’s Gold medal, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Lifetime Achievement Award from BBC. He was voted as the football player of Century by Internationals Federation of Football History and statistics in 1999 and was elected as the ‘Athlete of the Century’ by the International Olympic Committee and Reuters New Agency.
Subroto Cup Football Tournament, one of the most prestigious inter-school football tournament in India. In 2015, for the first time, teams of boys and girls came from Afganistan for Subroto Cup and Pele came along with them after a gap of 38 years as the chief guest of the 56th edition of Subroto Cup. He didn’t need an introduction and everyone was left in surprise. All of them started shouting his name and some of them even removed their t-shirts to show their excitement.
Recently, Pele chose to auction off 2000 items of his football memorabilia including the replica Jules Rimet trophy commemorating his record Third World Cup win with Brazil in 1970.
He is the only person in the history of football who has won the World Cup three times – in 1958, 1962 and 1970. According to him “I decided to allow my fans and collectors to own a piece of my history as well. I hope they treasure these artifacts and share my story with their children and generations to come.”
He is also donating a portion of the proceeds to the Pequeno Principe Children’s hospital in the Brazilian city of Curitiba.
The World Cup replica is the highest of all, estimated around £281,000-£420,000.