Pele is no doubt one of football’s greatest names, but he is also a man who likes to enhance an already mythical status. When he is not claiming to have scored 1,283 goals ( a grossly inflated number considering 526 of those goals came in unofficial friendlies, youth games and tour games), he can be occasionally heard making outlandish predictions and dubious comments.
What is not dubious is the fact that Pele did suffer bad injuries due to aggressive tackles during his career. The 1966 world cup in England was particularly brutal and he ended the tournament injured after a series of UFC-style tackles. He limped through most of the final group game vs Portugal (He couldn’t be subbed because subs were not allowed in world cup games until 1970)
However one day, Pele gave as good as he received. During a game vs Juventus (Sao Paulo’s version, not the Italians), Pele kicked a defender so hard that the player had to be rushed to hospital for knee surgery. Pele amazingly wasn’t even sent off for the incident.
Even more bizarrely, Pando the center back who got injured named the 3 surgical scars on his knee ‘Edson’, ‘Arantes’, ‘Nascimento’. Pele’s full names. Why tattoo a legend’s name on your body when you can just get them to scar you for life and name the scars after them.
Makes absolute sense.