Pele, referred to as the Brazilian God of football, is regarded as one of the best to ever play the sport. He was an absolute treat to watch in his playing days. While mesmerising the world with his flicks and tricks, Pele was also a highly efficient goal-scorer.

Pele holds the record for scoring the most goals for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 international games. He was also prolific at the club level, netting 643 goals in 659 games for Santos, making him their all-time top goal-scorer.

The Brazilian legend was adept at scoring with either foot and his head, while averaging almost a goal per game in his career. Pele also had the ability to create opportunities for other players with his vision and passing.

At the FIFA World Cup, Pele ranks fifth in the top goal-scorers list with 12 goals. Even though he never won the Golden Boot, Pele was awarded as the Best Player in the 1970 edition, courtesy of his four goals and six assists in Brazil’s title-winning campaign.

Pele passed away on December 29, 2022, following a long battle with cancer. Let's look at the legend's exploits at FIFA World Cups.

Pele World Cup goals

Wearing the iconic no. 10 yellow jersey, Pele scored 12 goals in 14 matches across four editions of the FIFA World Cup, with an average of 0.86 goals per game. 

He smashed his first goal in the competition in the quarter-final of the 1958 edition. Netting in the 66th-minute, the goal proved to be the match-winner against Wales. In the semi-final, Pele’s three goals powered Brazil to the final. Two more goals in the final not only made it his most prolific edition to date, but also won his nation the trophy.

Pele scored only two goals combined in the 1962 and 1966 editions, finding the back of the net in the opening games of the campaigns. 

The 1970 edition was his final appearance in the FIFA World Cup. Pele scored three goals in the two group games before scoring in the 4-1 win over Italy in the final.

World Cup


Pele Goals













Pele FIFA World Cup records

Pele set multiple records in the 1958 edition, which was successful for both him and the Brazilian national football team. 

Pele became the youngest player to play in the FIFA World Cup, achieving the feat in the group stage match against the Soviet Union. He then became the youngest goal-scorer in the tournament’s history, scoring aged 17 years and 239 days.

Just five days later, Pele became the youngest player to score a hat-trick at the FIFA World Cup, when his second half efforts guided Brazil past France. In the final, aged 17 years and 249 days, Pele scored in the final to win the trophy for Brazil and get the tag of the youngest goal-scorer in a FIFA World Cup final.

Another special achievement for Pele in the 1958 edition was the Silver Ball, which is given to the second-best player of the tournament. While Brazil’s Didi won the Golden Ball, Pele’s award made him the youngest player to win the Silver Ball.

Pele has assisted 10 goals in the FIFA World Cup, the most assists in the FIFA World Cup. No player has assisted more goals in a single edition than the Selecao legend (6).

Last, but not the least, Pele has won three FIFA World Cup titles, the most by any player in the tournament’s history. A total of 20 other players have won the trophy twice.


Featured image: Alamy