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Pelé prime time was not even recorded as much, he makes every single modern player look average giving the conditions in which he played in.
The conditions he played in? You mean against average defenders, with no tactics and in a time where teams played with 7 attackers and 3 defenders? I doubt Pelé would even come close to Cristano and Messi if he started his career at the same time as them.
@JuanMata10 Average defenders? You better stop talking about something you know nothing about, Pele invented everything that Messi and Ronaldo are doing.
Look at the fouls they did to him, at the time when there was no red cards and no player protection from the refs, with worse pitch conditions and no personal trainers and so on:
You sound ignorant af...
"the most violently fouled player in football history"
And keep in mind that more than half of his games at his best when he was young were not even recorded.
I agree with Golazo here, although defenders are relatively worse on average the amount of fouls Pele suffered is insane. And defenders wouldn't get any bookings for breaking someone's leg or anything. Just for example, 1966 World Cup in which Pele was stopped by violent fouls (only World Cup Pele played in but haven't won). All of group stage opponents Brazil had - Bulgaria, Hungary, Portugal - stopped Pele by fouling him so hard it's miracle he recovered and won everything with Santos. He said himself that he will never play in World Cup again but he changed his mind because of high success with Santos.
I also am brave enough to say his natural ability is atleast the same of Messi and I consider him top 10 of all time with Messi, R9, Garrincha, Maradona, Platini, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Yashin and Puskas. And along with hard-tackling I talked about, defenders weren't so average at all, there were great defenders and even more great goalkeepers, Yashin was in same era as Pele and Pele even managed to score few goals to him (not exactly sure how much, I would need to search a bit). Nilton Santos, Carrizo, Gilmar, Djalma Santos, Moore, Banks, Facchetti, Carlos Alberto just from defenders and goalkeepers.
It is almost unbeliveable to me how could any generation reach such level of natural ability like Brazil in 60's and 70's.
Don't forget the 1962 World Cup, where Pele got injured and didn't play past the group stages. It was the year Garrincha carried the team to championship. Technically, Pele only contributed to two World Cup victories, and both with insanely stacked teams. The media elevates Pele to the "greatest of all-time" without mentioning that he had, almost unanimously, the greatest assembly of talent in the history of football.
I think all of you are right to some extent. Pele was a revolutionary in his time. It was undisputed that he was the greatest player of his era. And to do what he did with all those violent tackles is impressive.
But playing against an organized wall of defense is another animal. It's one thing to sneak past defenders who are coming at you one by one. It's another thing to have four defenders stand their ground and stare you down - daring you to make a move whilst covering all the space for you to make a run or slip a pass. Or to have five organized defenders close you in from all sides simultaneously. And to live with this game-in, game-out?
Messi and Cristiano play in much more difficult conditions with defenses being more organized than ever, but they play in easier physical conditions as there is less danger of injury for them. The threat of injury, however, doesn't immediately make Pele's accomplishments more impressive than Messi and Cristiano's.
In that sense, judging from all the old tape I have seen of him, his playing style is very similar to Ronaldinho and Fenomeno. The exceptions would be that Fenomeno was a pure forward so didn't have any vision, and Ronaldinho played much further back on the pitch than Pele. Pele also seemed to be more athletic than Dinho, but not as much as Fenomeno. I think the natural ability of all three of these Brazilians is about the same, but Pele is the only one who lived up to it.
I'd still put Pele in my top 10 greatest-ever, but somewhere around 5-8 rather than 1-3. Then again, I've only seen tapes of the man. None of us are the best judge of his talent. Nevertheless, I don't think it's unreasonable to have Pele outside of one's top 5 greatest ever. Men like Messi, Cristiano, Cruyff, Maradona, Di Stefano, and Puskas were also insane talents who have had mind-blowing careers.
You have convinced me Pele is the greatest player ever after Zidane !
What's hilarious is that the first video supposed to be showcasing how fouled Pele was, mainly shows instances of him fouling and endangering others. :)
But yes, there's no doubting that Pele had it rough in terms of the amount of physicality he had to contend with (and apparently didn't mind instigating himself, judging by the footage). By the same token, there's no doubting that the ball, being heavier, meant for easier control at pace and in the air, and that both the speed and tactics of defenders pales compared to now, so he had those advantages.
At the end of the day, genius is genius, and is also timeless. He was far and away the greatest player of his generation, and what more can a man do/ask for?
But yes, there's no doubting that Pele had it rough in terms of the amount of physicality he had to contend with (and apparently didn't mind instigating himself, judging by the footage). By the same token, there's no doubting that the ball, being heavier, meant for easier control at pace and in the air, and that both the speed and tactics of defenders pales compared to now.
I am going to stir the pot here a bit and say that we can't have both sides of the coin. The comments, and not just here in this thread but in many others, is how the team around the player is so good that it doesnt make him the best. Yet I have read countless times how CR7 is the best (He plays on Real Madrid), and Messi is the best (he plays on Barcelona). Heck insert other world players in their time.
While a good team does help overall quality, when players on that team or opponents against all claim someone to be the best, how can one argue that?
Brazil was insane, INSANE, in the 60's and 70s, yet how many of their own consider Pele the best? How many teams or players against him call him the best? One can even claim Maradona in the same way.
What this video shows is moves done long ago. Moves that amaze today, yet still are 50 plus years old. They are so fun to watch and not all players can perform like that at the highest level.
We can never agree on one overall best because we all see things differently. Even here in the states, Michael Jordan, is disputed by some and I can't argue against some points as they are valid. Personally I think he is the best Basketball player, but Lebron is getting up there. Can't stand Lebron, but gotta give props!
Just enjoy the greatest game on earth and have some fun!
@DarthFooty I wonder how can anyone say that Jordan isn't the best when everyone that ever played in the NBA have said so themselves and most stats show that Jordan was a better winner, I mean even Lebron wears Jordan's number.
Funny how each time we put a player to the level of inventer : Brazilian Football was full of these street tricks. PELE was just the most mediatized of his generation, like Dynast said Garrincha was more skillful and had better tricks...
But Pele HUGE career and Palmares is to be noticed, for me Maradona is by far the best of the 2, but in FIFA eyes PELE looked as a nice best player that was very greatful to the constitution.
if you ask me, Di Estefano or Puskas were even better potentially than Pele, but then its opposite to how History was written because based on WC Legend.
PHENOMENO for me is the best Brazillian even in term of potential, there is no discussion for me about it. what he did in Calcio in the golden defensive years is unmatched by any dribbler.
If you dont take into consideration, the level dificulty of the opponent, i can pretend to be a hall of famer if i record my futsal games vs my old workmates :D
Guys come to conclusion because I keep swinging indecisively wether Pele was the greatest after Zidane .
No conclusion will ever be met in this discussion. What defines a great footballer?
@Marcus Zidane won a world Cup and scored in World Cup Final but Pele did that at 17 years old and won 3 World Cups. Not sure how can Zidane be considered greater, Pele is in the top 3 of all time in every list no way to find 3 players better than him.
And what if Pelé was Born at Liberia like Georges WEAH ? would he have any credit if he would never qualify ?
for me juging potential at the peak of he career is what i like the most. Could someone imagine that Valdes is better than Buffon because Valdes won 3 CL and Buffon 0 ? these reasoning have their limits....
And what if Pele won 4 World Cups and not 3? What then? Pele was the best of the best by the best, simple as that.
No . Zidane is genius of football . Mastermind . Maestro . And Pele himself said that he got his inspiration in football career from Zidane .
And Pele himself said that he got his inspiration in football career from Zidane.
And Pele himself said that he got his inspiration in football career from Zidane.
Sorry if I understood that wrong, but how could Zidane be inspiration to Pele?
@Golazo, to be honest I have no preference between Pele/Maradona/Messi simply because all of them were out of the world by skills, ability and actual perfomances. I don't think no one will reach level of footballing respect Pele has got, Maradona's influence in his team or Messi's magic creating something out of nowhere. Pele scored over 1000 goals in career including friendlies, without them over 700. That is pretty unbeliveable feat for any player of any era. He won three World Cups (appearing in 4, only one he hasn't won happened getting stopped by tackling in group stage). He also (judged by videos) had everything forward needs, and even beyond that, he had unbeliveable goal-scoring ability, game intelligence, dribbling, vision and agility. He is also arguably the greatest player during early career (appearing and scoring 6 goals in World Cup at age of 17). By shades my favorite is Pele, but then again I remember how Maradona lead Argentina to World Cup by himself and Messi reached club perfomance arguably no one could complete again.
@Croatian It has always been either Pele or Maradona, I personally prefer Maradona but objectively I can't argue with anyone saying that Pele is the greatest. Basically at this point I'm waiting for Messi to finally win the World Cup.
When looking at history, you need context of that history. Would Pele succeed today, playing the way he did then? Of course not. The game has evolved. That's a good thing, we want to see players getting better and more skillful. The question is not that, it is if Pele was relatively better than the rest of the playing field in his day than players such as Messi or Ronaldo are above the playing field in THEIR OWN day.
You respect and learn from the past. Part of that is not taking away from the accomplishments of those that came before you. Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great would've been bend over and anally violated by any army in the last thousand years. Doesn't mean they weren't better generals than the ones commanding the more recent forces.