Now the most decorated soccer country in the world, Brazil hadn't won a World Cup heading into the 1958 tournament. That all changed when Pele spearheaded the team to a 5-2 triumph over Sweden in the finals, with Pele knocking in two goals.
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A boyish-looking Pele cradles a puppy circa 1958.
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A young Pele prepares to drink from a bottle topped by a teat. He was prolific even in his youth, spearheading the 1958 Brazil National Team to a World Cup championship over Sweden at age 17.
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Pele does some cooking while sporting a chef's hat circa 1960. He certainly knew the recipe for success, netting 1281 goals during his celebrated career.
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During a friendly in Sweden, Pele blows by the competition. He and his Brazilian teammates smoked their Malmoe opponents, capturing a comfortable 7-1 victory.
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Pele smiles for the camera while wearing a Mexican-style sombrero.
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Some female admirers join Pele in his sombrero photo shoot. He had millions of fans, and is still regarded as a Brazilian national hero.
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Pele impresses opponents with his moves while training for the 1962 World Cup. The tournament itself would be a disappointment, as he injured himself during Brazil's showdown with Czechoslovakia.
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Pele is pictured washing in the bathroom. He was a media target everywhere he went, becoming the most legendary footballer ever.
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Pele loosens up before a 1966 match.
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Pele focuses on heading the ball during 1967. He used his head quite effectively throughout his magnificent career, including scoring on a header for the initial goal of the 1970 World Cup final.
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Pele demonstrates the proper bicycle kick technique during a contest in 1968.
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Pele stands among a display to recognize his 1000th professional goal. He finished with 1,281 goals -- making him the top scorer of all time.
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Brazil rolled past the competition in the 1970 World Cup, defeating Czechoslovakia, England, Romania, Peru, Uruguay and Italy en route to the title.
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A shirtless Pele is hoisted off the pitch after the 1970 World Cup final. It was a return to form for him, as he missed parts of the 1962 and 1966 tournaments due to injury.
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A stylish Pele poses in front of a Mercedes-Benz in 1970. His flashy image was fitting, as his on-field play earned him the nickname "O Rei Pele," meaning "The King Pele."
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An elated Pele sprints to his teammates in celebration after knocking in the first goal of the 1970 World Cup final. Pele and Co. were rejoicing all game, dusting Italy 4-1 in the championship.
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Pele is greeted by a mariachi band upon his arrival in Mexico for the 1970 World Cup. He'd continue to impress the country over the course of the next month, racking up three goals in Brazil's eventual triumph.
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Pele relaxes by the hotel pool with his guitar after the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The tournament was music to his ears, as Brazil claimed its third World Cup title.
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In his fourth and final World Cup, Pele led a Brazil squad that many consider to be the greatest ever. They coasted to six straight victories, including a 4-1 win over Italy in the final. Pele scored a goal in the 18th minute and was carried off the pitch by adoring fans while wearing a sombrero.
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In addition to his goal, Pele added a beautiful assist in the final minutes of the 1970 World Cup, delivering a perfect pass to teammate Carlos Alberto.
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Pele is paraded down the Champs Elysees boasting the Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy, which Brazil was awarded for their dominance in the 1970 tournament. He was in Paris with his Santos team for a 1971 charity match.
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During a "Fabrege Promotional Event" on Aug. 5, 1975, Pele juggles an American football. His headers were quite amusing, drawing laughs out of spectators Joe Namath and designer Richard Barry.
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Pele graces the cover of Sports Illustrated after joining the New York Cosmos in 1975. His debut in the U.S. helped popularize a sport in a nation that was behind the rest of the world.
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Pele runs along the pitch during a game against the Dallas Tornadoes. He made 64 appearances as a member of the New York Cosmos.
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Pele prepares to slice up some meat during a 1974 event. He is better known for slicing up his competition.
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Pele shows off his moves after his team beat France in 1981. His moves on the pitch dazzled as well, as he was renowned for his brilliant dribbling skills.
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A spokesperson as well as an athlete, Pele promotes an anti-drug campaign before a match with Diego Maradona (left) and Michael Platini. He used his fame to make a difference after soccer, serving as the United Nations ambassador for ecology and the environment.
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Pele presents an autographed ball to Magic Johnson during his time in Rio de Janeiro. Johnson, a terrific athlete himself, was clearly pleased at receiving the souvenir.
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Pele and his wife, Assiria, pose with boxing legend Muhammad Ali and his wife, Lonnie. Regarded as the greatest to ever play their respective sports, Ali and Pele shared something else in common: they both were known by titles other than their birth names. Ali was originally born Cassius Clay, while Pele is officially named Edison Arantes do Nascimento.
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