Pele has a net worth of roughly $100 million
The Brazilian is a three-time World Cup winner and one of the greatest footballers of all-time
Read below for more on Pelé net worth
Sadly, Brazilian football legend Pele passed away at the age of 82 in December 2022 after a battle with cancer.
The football world went into mourning after news broke, with a message from Pele's official Twitter account reading: "Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever."
Pele will rightly go down in history as one of the greatest footballers of all-time and his achievements will be shared time and time again on YouTube. May he rest in peace.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who you might know as Pelé, is a name that transcends the world of football. Some sportspeople cover countries, some are continental icons.
A select few, though, break through on a worldwide level. Whether in Shanghai, Missouri or Zimbabwe, the name Pelé at least rings a bell.
For many, it is more than that. Pelé is into his eighties, and his career was long before betting on football online was an option, but his achievements on the pitch occupy much of football’s history books.
Winner of three World Cups and a couple of Copa Libertadores, Pelé hung up his boots in the 1970s, yet many of his records stand into the 2020s. While there is some dispute over his goal tallies, there is no doubt of Pelé’s greatness.
Franz Beckenbauer named him as the greatest player of all-time, and few would leave Pelé out of their top five even if many believe he has been surpassed by Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi since he retired.
Pelé’s net worth is around £70 million. Given the comparatively low earnings during his era, this net worth figure might come as a surprise.
Pelé reportedly made just £4 million from his playing days, and he’s had some high-profile business failures since retiring.
Such is his reputation around the world, Pelé is marketable even almost half a century after playing his last competitive match.
Pfizer used Pelé to market Viagra, he has taken on the role of sandwich salesman at Subway and been a prominent figure in Mastercard’s marketing campaigns.
Of course, he will have earned plenty from his biopic ‘Pelé Forever’ and releasing his own autobiography.
His wealth might not come close to that of many of the current generation of elite footballers, but Pelé has enjoyed a profitable post-playing career, leading him to a much greater net worth than some his peers, including Franz Beckenbauer and the late, great Eusebio.
Pelé is Brazil’s youngest goal scorer to this day. Scoring on his debut aged 16 years and nine months, Pelé immediately set the tone for a glittering career on the international stage.
His first World Cup was in 1958. Numerous records tumbled, and most still stand. Pelé was the youngest player to appear at a World Cup and the youngest to play in a final, scoring twice as Brazil thumped Sweden.
The tournament saw Pelé wear number 10 for the first time, albeit through an administrative error. It was the birth of an international sporting icon, and the first of three World Cup triumphs in his lengthy career.
He missed the majority of the 1962 World Cup because of a knee injury, but Brazil were still able to go all the way thanks to the incomparable Garrincha.
Physical play from opponents led to Brazil being knocked out in the opening round of the 1966 World Cup, and Pelé declared he would never play in a World Cup again.
Of course, he went back on this to play in 1970. Brazil once again won the tournament, keeping the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently.
Pelé was once again the best player in the competition, scoring or creating over half of Brazil’s goals. That side is widely considered the greatest football team ever, and Pelé was at the centre of their brilliance, summed up by Carlos Alberto’s goal in the final.
Pelé retired in 1971 with 92 caps for Brazil, just 11 losses, and 77 goals scored. He’s still among the players with the most international goals.
Pelé only played for two clubs in his career; Santos and New York Cosmos.
Waldemar de Brito managed Pelé in his youth at his local club Bauru. Brito took a young Pelé to Santos to try out for the club, asserting that he would one day become the greatest player in the world.
After signing at Santos, Pelé debuted at 15 years old, scoring in the match. He was a regular starter and the league’s top scorer by 16, attracting big-money offers from Real Madrid and Manchester United.
When Inter made an approach, Santos demanded the contract was ripped up and Brazil’s president declared him an ‘official national treasure’.
In 1958, Pelé won the Campeonato Paulista, his first silverware with Santos. He finished with 58 goals, setting a record that still stands.
He remained at the club until 1974. His goal tally by then was the most any player had scored for a single club, a mark that has only since been bettered by Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
Markets to place bets on sports always made Santos a favourite during his time at the club. He changed the fortunes of the Alvinegro Praiano, winning 10 Campeonato Paulista, six Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and two Copa Libertadores.
After retiring from Brazilian club football, Pelé made a surprise move to sign for New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.
The presence of a worldwide football prediction star put soccer on the map in the USA and led to other stars joining, including Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer and George Best.
Pele wrapped up his career with a fixture between Cosmos and Santos, playing the first half for the New York-based team and the second half of the Brazilian club.
Bobby Moore and Muhammad Ali were both in attendance as a sell-out crowd witnessed the greatest ever put on a show one last time.
Most goals for Santos – 643
Most hat-tricks – 92
Most career goals – 1,283
Most World Cup wins – 3
Youngest World Cup winner - 17 years and 249 days
Youngest World Cup goal scorer - 17 years and 239 days
Most World Cup assists – 10
Most goals in a calendar year - 127
Michel Platini said ‘to play like Pelé is to play like God’. Zico believed Pelé to be the greatest player of all-time ‘by some distance’.
Jose Mourinho even donated his ‘special one’ nickname in honour of Pelé, saying "I think he is football. You have the real special one – Mr. Pelé."
As the years pass since his career finished, more are relying on the greatest football films to tell them about Pelé. Comparing eras is never straight-forward.
Pitting Pelé against Maradona or Messi is nigh on impossible, but we can say with minimal doubt that Pelé was the greatest of his era.
Johan Cruyff described him as ‘the only footballer who surpassed the boundaries of logic’. Franz Beckenbauer ranked Platini, Cruyff and Maradona ‘beneath him’.
From politicians to rockstars, Pelé is a demigod. It’s not just Brazil where he is adored – his legacy carries far beyond South America, with fans clamouring to just get a sight of him even decades after his retirement.
Nelson Mandela spoke of how it felt to watch Pele in his pomp, "To watch him play was to watch the delight of a child combined with the extraordinary grace of a man in full.”
Mick Jagger was honoured to know the man, “Absolutely everybody wanted to shake his hand, to get a photo with him. Saying you had partied with Pele was the biggest badge of honour going.”
Pelé, at worst, is the third-greatest footballer of all-time. For many, he’s the undisputed number one.
Pelé’s family situation is complicated. He has been married three times and has several other children as the result of affairs.
Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi was his first wife, and they had three children together. He was involved with TV personality Maria da Graça Xuxa Meneghel for a period before marrying Assíria Lemos Seixas in the 1990s. They had two children together.
There were at least two more children from other affairs. One of which, Sandra Machado, was never recognised by Pelé despite the courts acknowledging she was his daughter.
Another daughter, Flávia Kurtz, was the result of an affair with a journalist in the 1960s. In the 2010s, the Brazilian icon was dating Marcia Aoki, who is 30 years his junior. They tied the knot in 2016.
Pele has suffered a number of health scares over the years, with the Brazil legend fighting several illnesses and diseases in later life.
In December 2022, Pele was rushed into hospital and was receiving end-of-life treatment after not responding to chemotherapy. As of December 7th, the BBC reported that Pele's condition was improving and no new complications.
We will of course update this page as new information comes to light.