Pele: 1940-2022

Pele at Arsenal in 1981

Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is saddened to hear that Pele, one of football's biggest icons, passed away in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

Universally acknowledged as one of the greatest to ever to play the game, Pele is the only player to have won three World Cups, scoring 12 goals in 14 appearances at four finals. No-one has scored more than his 77 goals for his country, which came in 92 caps.

He represented Santos for 18 years before ending his career with the New York Cosmos in 1977. He netted 757 goals in 831 official games, however it is claimed by many that that total was over 1,000 when other matches are taken into consideration, but while the official tally can be debated, there is no argument that his goalscoring exploits ensured he remains revered by generations of football fans around the world.

As a club, we had the privilege of hosting him in May 1981 at Highbury for a meeting with Aston Villa, when he was introduced to the crowd ahead of kick-off - a memory we will always cherish.

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