Which World Cup records does Pelé still hold?

Which World Cup records does Pelé still hold?  The late Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, died ‘due to multiple organ failures resulting from the progression of colon cancer…’ at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil on December 29, 2022 at the age of 82. However, during his long, illustrious career, the man they called ‘O Rei do Futebol’ or, in English, ‘The King of Football’ set several World Cup records, some of which may never be broken.

Born in Três Corações, in the southern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, on October 23, 1940, Pelé made his debut in a FIFA World Cup finals tournament in Sweden in 1958, where he scored at least once in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. He scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Wales at Nya Ullevi, Gothenburg on June 19, 1958, at the age of 17 years and 239 days, thereby becoming the youngest player in a finals tournament. Five days later, on June 24, 1958, at Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Pelé scored the last three goals for Brazil in a 5-2 semi-final victory over France. Thus, at the age of 17 years and 244 days, he also became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup finals tournament.

Of course, his record-breaking tournament was far from over; in the final, against the hosts, at the same venue on June 29, 1958, Pelé scored a brilliant volley – which, much later, was voted third in a poll for ‘FIFA World Cup Goal of the Century’ – early in the second half and completed another 5-2 victory with a header in stoppage time. Aged 17 years and 249 days at the time, he became the youngest player to win the FIFA World Cup.

Pelé won the FIFA World Cup again in 1962 and 1970, making him the only player to do so three times. In the latter finals tournament, he recorded seven assists, thereby setting another World Cup record that still stands.