Pele dies: Brazil great's defining moments – from World Cup magic to Copa Libertadores glory

Brazil legend and three-time World Cup winner Pele has died at the age of 82, leaving behind one of the greatest sporting legacies.

Pele passed away in Sao Paulo on Thursday, leaving the football world in mourning for the loss of one of its all-time legends.

Across a playing career that spanned over two decades, Pele scored for fun and won countless honours.

Here, Stats Perform has picked through some of the iconic moments that helped shape his mystique and reputation in the game.

 

The Selecao double (1958 World Cup Final)

Already a talent back home, Pele was yet to even complete his first year with Brazil when he caught the imagination half the world away in Sweden, with a string of superb performances at his first World Cup.

He capped it by becoming the then-youngest player to feature in a World Cup final, at 17 years and 249 days, and scored a brace to help his side to victory – including an audacious first that saw him volley a great finish.

Pele
Pele

The Copa brace (Santos 3-0 Penarol, 1962 Copa Libertadores Finals)

For back-to-back years, Uruguayan heavyweights Penarol had been the undisputed kings of South American club football, but over a two-legged final, Santos had been able to hold them at bay.

That forced a third leg, a playoff to decide who would be crowned Copa Libertadores champions – Pele scored a rapid-fire brace after the restart to put the result beyond doubt.

The halfway-line shot (Brazil 4-1 Czechoslovakia, 1970 World Cup)

A dozen years on from Sweden, and having missed his side's victorious final in 1962 through injury, Pele headed to Mexico for what many assumed to be a chance at correcting unfinished business.

In their first game of the tournament, Brazil ran out convincing winners against Czechoslovakia – but it was the forward's non-goal, an audacious lob from the halfway line that was just pulled wide, that many remember as an enterprising play.

The wonder save (England 0-1 Brazil, 1970 World Cup)

If another moment from the tournament lives fast in the memory though, it's another miss from Pele – but on this occasion, the attacker can't be blamed for not finishing this effort.

He looked to have done everything right, planting a superb downward header off a cross from out wide, only for England goalkeeper Gordon Banks to acrobatically keep it out. A defining moment for both men.

The dummied miss (Uruguay 1-3 Brazil, 1970 World Cup)

It is a testament to how enshrined 1970 – Pele's third and final World Cup triumph – is in his legacy that it is three chances, three misses that linger in the memory.

This time, Pele took the ball on to Uruguay goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz and dummied him, before rounding to the right to strike. His shot agonisingly missed the bottom-left corner – but still didn't hurt his side's victory.