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Sunday, December 04, 2005

The goal which started the Pele legend

1958 was the year in which Edson Arantes Nascimento, "Pelé", made his mark on global football. Pelé went on to play in four World Cups for Brazil but this one set out the legend.

At the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, the first tournament ever televised, Pelé missed the first 2 matches because of a knee injury, almost missing the entire tournament. But Pelé left an indelible mark on the global game by going on to score six goals, including two in the final, one of which went down in history as the goal that marked Pelé as the the player of his generation.

After going a goal down in the final, Brazil ended up winning the game 5-2 which earned Brazil its first World Cup triumph. He was only 17 years old at the time.



Sweden opened the scoring early in the match with a 4th minute Liedholm goal. 6 minutes later Vava fired a goal firmly past Swedish goalkeeper Svensson, and scored again shortly after. Then came Pelé's moment.

On 55 minutes Pele chested a lofty dropping ball down onto his thigh in a crowded penalty area. The 17 year old turned to goal and audaciously hooked the ball over a defender's head, set his body position, put his head down and sent a powerfully struck volley strait into the left corner of the net.

Zagallo and Pelé added 2 more goals on either side of a Swedish goal from Agne Simonsson, but it was too little as Brazil lifted the World Cup.

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