31.5.10

The King of Football - Pele on Postage Stamps

FIFA player of the century Pele is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all-time. He is the all-time leading scorer of the Brazilian national football team and the only footballer to be a part of three World Cup winning squads. In 1957 just 3 months short of his 17th birthday he made his international debut and scored. That goal making him the youngest player to score in a full international match. A year later he took the world by storm.



His first appearance for Brazil during the 1958 World Cup held in Sweden made him at the time the youngest player to appear in a World Cup Finals tournament. His first World Cup goal, scored in the quarter-finals made him the youngest ever World Cup goalscorer. More was to come for in the semi-finals he scored a hattrick making him the youngest player in World Cup history to do so. He bagged two goals in the final to become the youngest goalscorer in a World Cup Final.

He continued to score goals, lots and lots of them and his goalscoring record of 1280 goals in 1363 games is a world record. His 1000th goal or O Milésimo (The Thousandth) as it is popularly known came with a penalty strike for Santos in a game against Vasco da Gama at the legendary Maracana Stadium. A stamp was struck to commemorate this great goalscoring feat and for sure it has become one of the most iconic football stamps ever produced.


Brazil 1969 - Pele 1000 Goals FDC (by footysphere)


Pele again featured on one of his countries stamps after the Brazilian World Cup triumph of 1970. Flanked by two of his teammates he celebrates a goal in trademark fashion.


It wasn't just Brazilian stamps he appeared on though. Many countries used images of Pele on their stamps and below you will a find just a small selection of those produced to honour not only the great man himself but what Pele called o jogo bonito - the beautiful game.

 Yemen Arab Republic - Minisheet 1970

Nicaragua & Cameroon 1970

Upper Volta 1973

Chad & Congo 1978

Liberia minisheet 1986

Grenada minisheet 1990

Finally an item of postal stationery produced by the Russian Republic of Komi that shows Pele in his later years. Following his retirement from football Pele has performed ambassadorial roles for various bodies. These include the Brazilian government, the United Nations and UNESCO.


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