How much?! Pele .’s incredible scoring record

Pele’s status as one of the greatest footballers of all time has never been contested but the same cannot be said of the number of goals he has scored during his star career.

The exact number of times Pele has hit the net is a matter of controversy, with most statisticians agreeing that the number ranges from 1,281 to 1,283.

FIFA puts his total at over 1,200 – more than 1,000 of which went to his first club, Santos. Most of the others come to the New York Cosmos and Brazil.

However, questions have long swirled around the status of many of his goals, especially when compared to those scored by modern-day players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Nearly half of Pele’s goals have come in friendlies – including conscription matches – and some argue they don’t carry the same weight as goals scored in main matches. awake.

Barcelona celebrated in December 2020 when Messi scored his 644th goal for the Spanish club, surpassing the 643 goals Pele has scored for Santos. Two months later, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 768th goal, three more than Pele’s total, including international goals.

Pele has congratulated both players, but his supporters still argue that the Brazilian’s goal-scoring performance is superior because in Pele’s day, friendlies were much more competitive than those. with present.

In the 1960s, South America’s top players were rarely sought after by European clubs as they are today, and each continent’s top teams rarely met in competitive matches. So when they go head-to-head in friendlies, it’s serious issues.

Starting in the late 1950s, Santos toured Europe and much of the world every year as foreign clubs would pay them large sums of money for the privilege of meeting Pele and co. act together.

The tour was punished. Santos sometimes plays two games in three days and has no time to train, rest or eat properly, often sleeping on overnight trains and surviving on fruit and chocolate.

Yet they still scored, from Lisbon to Lyon and from Birmingham to Buenos Aires.

The defense that Pele beat was read like a man of world football.

He scored against AC Milan, Juventus and Napoli; Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico; Anderlecht, Feyenoord and Red Star Belgrade.

He scored 8 goals in 7 matches against Inter Milan, 6 goals in 5 matches against AS Roma and 10 goals in 7 matches against Benfica.

Santos’ historian Odir Cunha told Reuters: “You have to have great prestige even against teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“Pele has played against some of the biggest teams in the world. And he’s scored against almost all of them.”

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