The World Cups that made Pelé 'immortal'

© Action Images / Sporting Picture

The football legend Pelé, who died on December 29, went down in history not only as an incredible striker but also as the only man to have won the World Cup three times. FRANCE 24 takes a look back at the three World Cups that would result in Fifa dubbing Pelé “the immortal”.

Pelé, the World Cup’s undisputed ambassador, was conspicuously absent from this year's edition in Qatar. Despite battling cancer, the so-called "King of Football" had followed and commented on the latest World Cup from his hospital bed in Sao Paolo. 11 days after Argentina's stunning victory in the final match, the legendary footballer passed away, leaving devastated fans behind.

The world will no longer be able to enjoy the debonair appearances and wise words of the "king" at the World Cup. His talent as a goalscorer -- 1281 goals in 1363 matches according to a far from official count, often inflated by Pelé himself -- made him a star but his wins at the World Cup (in 1958, 1962 and 1970) made him a legend, in part because the event started being televised for the first time.

>>In pictures: A look back at Pelé's extraordinary career

1958: Coronation


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