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Pele in pictures: Images from the life and career of Brazil’s football legend

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Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has died at the age of 82, leaving a legacy of unparalleled glory and brilliance unparalleled in soccer.

Widely regarded as one of soccer’s greatest players, Pelé spent nearly two decades charming fans and dazzling opponents as the game’s most prolific goalscorer for Brazilian club Santos and the Brazil national team.

His grace, athleticism, and mesmerizing moves captivated players and fans alike. He orchestrated a fast, flowing style that revolutionized the sport: a samba-like style that epitomized his country’s elegance on the pitch.

He took Brazil to new heights and became a global ambassador for his sport on a journey that began on the streets of Sao Paulo state, where he kicked a sock full of newspapers or rags.

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In the conversation about the best football players, only the late Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Alfredo Di Stefano are mentioned alongside Pelé.

Different sources, counting different sets of games, list Pelé’s goal totals between 650 (league games) and 1,281 (all senior games, some against lower-level competition).

Here are some photos from an extraordinary life and career:

June 30, 1958: Gustav VI Adolf, King of Sweden, (right) shakes hands with Pelé before the World Cup final between Brazil and Sweden.

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Brazilian forwards Vava and Pele (number 10) get into a melee in front of the French goal during the World Cup semi-final at Rasunda Stadion in Solna, Stockholm, on June 24, 1958. Brazil beat France by 5-2.

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Pele hugging a teammate after Brazil beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the 1962 World Cup final, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile, July 17, 1962. Pele missed the final due to injury.

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April 24, 1963: Pelé playing goal during training.

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May 7, 1963: Star of the Brazil national soccer team, Pelé sits on the ball during a training break at the Selsdon Park Hotel where they were staying. The Brazilians were to play England at Wembley

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Pelé and his wife Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi shopping in Paris, where they were on their honeymoon, on March 17, 1966.

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Pele with his Brazil national soccer team teammates traveling on a bus upon arrival in the UK for the 1966 FIFA World Cup, UK, June 25, 1966.

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A young fan approaches Pelé for an autograph as he trains in the pouring rain in Bolton in preparation for Brazil’s match against Portugal on July 18, 1966.

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July 19, 1966: Pele writhes in pain after injuring himself in a tackle during the World Cup match against Portugal at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

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Pelé, dejected, leaves the field after the game. Portugal won the match 3-1 with two goals from Eusebio.

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Pelé waiting at London airport for his team’s plane home after the 1966 World Cup in England on July 25, 1966.

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Pele kicks a ball on a bicycle during a game at an unknown location, September 1968.

(AP)

Pelé beats Venezuelan goalkeeper Fabrizio Fasano in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 24, 1969.

(AP)

The Brazilian soccer team, May 18, 1970. (Back row from left to right) Carlos Alberto, Baldocchi, Ado, Fontana, Piazza and Marco Antonio; (front row) Jairzinho, Gerson, Pelé, Rivelino and Edu.

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Brazil v Italy – Azteca Stadium, Mexico City: Pelé celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the 1970 World Cup final.

(Action images / Sports image)

Pelé is lifted onto the shoulders of his teammates after Brazil won the World Cup final against Italy, 4-1, at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, on June 21, 1970.

(AP)

Pele meets young fans at Craven Cottage, home of Fulham FC, London, UK, March 12, 1973.

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Pelé in action during his last season with Santos, 1974.

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Pelé is surrounded by players and press as he leaves the pitch after his last match in an 18-year spell at Santos, October 8, 1974. He withdrew from the match, Santos vs Ponte Preta, due to a thigh injury.

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Pelé embraces boxer Muhammad Ali during a ceremony honoring the Brazilian star of the New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, on October 1, 1977.

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(AP)

George Best presents Pele with a plaque commemorating the Brazilian as the best soccer player in the world during Pele Appreciation Day at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasedena, California on April 9, 1978. A friendly game was played between the Aztecs and the Cosmos to commemorate the occasion.

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May 1, 1981: Pelé meets members of the Arsenal football team at Highbury. Arsenal had entered into a sponsorship venture with Ingersoll Electronics, which held the exclusive UK franchise for the Atari Championship Soccer game, personally backed by Pele.

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Pele cries during his wedding to Brazilian Assiria Seixas Lemos on April 30, 1994 in Recife, Brazil. About 600 people attended the wedding.

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(AFP via Getty Images)

President Nelson Mandela and Pele smile for photographers at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, on March 24, 1995.

(Reuters)

Diego Maradona, left, rests in a hammock with Pelé during a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 13, 1995.

(AP)

Pelé and Bobby Charlton pose with a ball for a photo during Euro ’96.

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Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with Pele during their meeting on August 20, 2005 in Cologne, Germany.

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Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari receives a trophy for his F1 racing achievements from Pele during the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Interlagos on October 22, 2006 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva, left, Rio 2016 bid President Carlos Arthur Nuzman, center, and Pelé, right, celebrate with their delegation after it was announced that Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Bella Center on October 2, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Lionel Messi holds the 2011 Ballon d’Or trophy with Pelé during the award ceremony in Zurich.

(Reuters)

Diego Maradona and Pelé pose after a soccer match organized at the Jardin du Palais Royal in Paris on June 9, 2016, on the eve of the Euro 2016 European soccer championship.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Pelé and Kylian Mbappe meeting at the Hotel Lutetia on April 2, 2019 in Paris, France.

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(Getty Images for Hublot)

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