Updated: Wednesday, 13th December 2017 @ 12:51pm

On this day: November 19, 1969 – Pele scores 1000th career goal

On this day: November 19, 1969 – Pele scores 1000th career goal

| By Jacob Bentley-York

On November 19 ,1969, Brazilian football legend Pele scored his 1,000th professional career goal against Vasco da Gama in the famous Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Popularly dubbed as ‘O Milésimo’ (The Thousandth), Pele converted his penalty kick to the reception of 80,000 adoring fans to cement himself as a legend of the game.

Widely considered as one of the best players to ever grace the field, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, is known as an icon of the game and the darling of Brazilian football.

Throughout his illustrious playing career, the Brazilian forward scored 727 goals in 786 competitive games for both club and country earning himself legendary status along the way.

Pele was known for his mesmerising control of the ball combined with his physical attributes of pace, power, skill and precision which earnt him the nickname ‘Pele’ (meaning miracle or wonder in Hebrew) when he was a child.

Spotted for his gifts with the ball at the age of 15 by the Brazilian football club Santos, Pele was dubbed as the player who would become the “greatest football player in the world” by the board of directors and it didn’t take long before he lived up to that billing.

He made his senior team debut on September 7, 1956 at the age of 15 against Corinthians scoring his first goal for Santos in a 7-1 thrashing and would go onto make another 638 appearances for the Brazilian outfit.

His 1,000th career goal came against Vasco da Gama on November 19, 1969, marking a milestone in the Brazilian's career.

Despite being scouted by the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United, Pele remained at Santos until the 1974 season when he retired from Brazilian club football.

Only a year later, however, the Brazilian went on to sign with the newly formed New York Cosmos where he scored 31 goals in 56 appearances in the twilight of his career.

Pele made his final appearance for the Cosmos on 1st October 1977 in an exhibition match against his former team Santos to celebrate a defining club career.

The match was played in front of a sold out crowd at Giants Stadium and was televised in the United States on ABC's Wide World of Sports as well as throughout the world.

Pele's father Dondinho and wife both attended the match, as well as boxing star Muhammad Ali and England captain Bobby Moore.  

More famously, however, Pele made his name worldwide playing for the Brazil national team from 1957-1971.

Making his debut at the tender age of 16, Pele soon became a regular fixture in the famous Yellow and Blue jersey of the ‘Canarinho’ (Little Canaries) breaking record after record.

After becoming the youngest scorer at international level, Pele won his first World Cup with Brazil on June 29, 1958 scoring two goals in the final to beat Sweden 5-2.

It was the first time that Pele appeared wearing the number 10 shirt for Brazil which would ultimately become synonymous with his stature as a player when he went on to win two more World Cups in 1962 and 1970.

Despite missing out the World Cup in 1966 (famously won by England), Pele remains the only player ever to win three World Cups in their career.

In the process, the Brazilian became his country’s top scorer and globally recognised as one the greatest players to play what the Brazilian famously described as ‘The Beautiful Game’.


MEETING OF GIANTS: Greats of the game Bobby Moore and Pele swap shirts at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico after Brazil's 1-0 win over the 1966 champions

After retirement, the Brazilian has become an ambassador for his country as well as a figurehead for football equality across the world.

As well as representing Brazil on a sporting level, Pele has used his notoriety to promote peace, love and equality with the work through the UN as well as spearheading a push to solve humanitarian and environmental problems both in his native Brazil and across the world.

In 1995, Pele was awarded Brazil's Gold Medal for outstanding services to the sport and, in 2012, Pelé was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh for "significant contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes, as well as his sporting achievements".

Even today, Pele in still recognised as an icon of the game and a legend in his own right. In 2016, a film named Pelé: Birth of a Legend was created to dramatise the Brazilian's rise from his humble beginnings and celebrate his rise to the top.

In EA Sports latest addition of FIFA (FIFA 18), Pele’s prime Icon Ultimate Team card is a staggering 98 rating making him the best player on the game. 

Main image courtesy of Sports Curry via YouTube, with thanks.