One of the players that made the game of football this glamorous is Pele. The Brazilian legend was a goal machine and a multiple world cup winner that redefine the game. Pele net worth might be small relative to what the current footballers of the level he then had, players like Messi and Ronaldo earn far more, but it was way higher than what players in his generation have.
His net worth is calculated to be $100m. This is made up of earning from his playing days and endorsements deals he had. Pele is also into several businesses that generate cash flow for him.
Pele spent the larger part of his playing career at his boyhood club, Santos. This was where he made his name in the game as a teenager that everyone knew. He made his debut for the Brazilian club in the 1956 season. He started playing top football at age 15 for Santos and when he was 16, he was already playing for the Sellecao of Brazil.
Everyone saw that he was a special talent that could not be denied. He was such an exceptional player that excelled both playing for club and country, something very rare in the modern game. That is one of the reasons many still rate him as the greatest soccer player ever.
He was voted the player of the Century in 1999 at the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. He also won the Athlete of the Century, an award given by the International Olympic Committee.
One of the things that stand Pele out to date is his goal-scoring record. His 650 league goals are yet to be matched by any player and doing so in 694 matches is another record that might never be matched. If we put the total number of goals he scored in his playing career into context, 1281 goals in 1363 games, Pele stands ahead of every other footballer.
There are however reservations about how those numbers were achieved. This was a period when the rules of the game allow players to stand in what is now referred to as the offside position and score. The substitution rule was also not what we have now.
Despite this, it could still not take away how great Pele was during his best days and this had an effect on his net worth. He was the highest-paid athlete at one point in time during his playing career. For this to have been, it shows how highly rated he was during his time.
Looking at how his career went for that long and how he made his name will give a good insight into how Pele net worth to be $100m is a realistic figure. When a player starts his career at age 15 and plays for more than two decades at the top, there is a level of trust brand will put in such a person that he can deliver when he is made ambassador and what they have is not a blip.
Pele was easily able to prove this to many brands that signed him up then. This was the first point of call to getting his wealth. The footballing angle is even more interesting because of how he played.
Pele was a unique player during his days. His ways of dazzling players were such a beauty to watch and his goal-scoring ability is majestic to and entertaining to the fans watching. He uses both legs to shoot and he does it very well.
One of the keys to his high scoring ratio, almost a goal per game, is that he had mastered the movement of his opponents before dashing to the goal. This is something that wasn’t common in the ‘60s and ‘70s until Pele was doing this on a regular basis.
His career with the national team brought him several treasures and seen as a messiah in his home state Sao Paulo. After making his debut at age 16, Pele went on to win three world cups with the national team. 1958, 1962 and 1970. He is the team’s all-time goal scorer with 77 goals in 92 appearances.
He was a key figure in the three world cup wins as he scored 5 goals in the 1958 edition and finished as the best young player for the tournament. 1962 was not as rosy as 1958 because he had an injury in the second game but still scored in the first game and provided assistance. He won the player of the tournament in 1970 when he led a much younger team to the world cup.
His club exploit was even better as he was a super player for Santos. The best they have ever seen in their history to date. He was that iconic and he’s still iconic to the club. He led Santos to two Copa Libertadores which was the last they won before Neymar led them to another in 2011.
He later signed for New Cosmos FC later in his career. This was mainly to draw attention to the North American Soccer League. He pocketed a salary of over $6m in just three years at the club. This was in the mid “70s and it was a huge amount of money. Looking back at that money now, many players in 2024 still don’t get $2m a year deal. It is that big.
Pele net worth was also influenced by deals he signed with top brands like Puma, Hublot, Volkswagen, Subway, Emirates, and Procter & Gamble, Santander, etc. He was one of the people that could command any deal during his days. After retiring from the game, he continued to get some endorsement deals.
He gained more endorsements when Brazil won the bid to host the world cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016. This was another window that helped the legend increase his net worth.