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How many goals did Pele score in his career? | Football

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Pele is one of the finest players to have ever lived (Picture: AP)

Pele, full name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

News of the Brazilian football legend’s death at the age of 82 broke on Thursday night, following a month-long hospital stay in Sao Paulo, in which he was being treated for complications linked to colon cancer that had been first diagnosed in September 2021.

A sporting legend players around the world looked up to, exactly how many goals did Pele score in all competitions across his stellar 21-year career?

Here are all the numbers for the great of the game.

How many goals did Pele score in total?

Whilst Pele’s place in the history books is undisputed, his exact goal tally is a little more controversial.

Brazilian footballer Pele holds a ball in his hands

Pele’s exact goals tally is disputed (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

This is due to the unstructured record-keeping that existed in football between the 1950s and 1970s, the period in which Pele was a professional.

Pele tweeted in 2015 that he had scored 1,283 goals across his career.

This number includes goals scored in friendly games and as part of the European tours he undertook with Brazilian side Santos, for whom he played for in all but two years of his career.

The Guinness World Records have officially recognised 1,279 of Pele’s goals from 1,363 matches, which would make him the highest goalscorer in the entire history of football.

FIFA put Pele’s goal record at 757, which is the number most statisticians around the world have settled on.

Of the 757, 680 were scored at club level for Santos between 1956 and 1974 and then New York Cosmos between 1975 and 1977.

Pele scored his goals for Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos (Picture: Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

The remaining 77 were scored for Brazil, helping the South Americans win three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

Pele’s 77 strikes for the national team make him the joint-highest scorer for Brazil alongside Neymar, who equaled the tally at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

The tally of 757 by FIFA places Pele fifth on the all-time goalscoring list behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Josef Bican, Lionel Messi and Romario.

However, the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF), an international organisation dedicated to collecting statistics on football, put Pele’s actual goal tally at 778 from matches in official competition.

This figure includes goals scored for the military team and certain national selection trials.


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