Today is the 40th anniversary of soccer legend Pelé's 1,000th goal. To commemorate the occasion, LIFE.com has unveiled two new galleries, one of which was guest-edited by Pelé. The second gallery contains shots of the renowned forward at the 1966 World Cup which have never been published before. Look at the photos below and check out the full LIFE.com galleries here and here.
Not too many fans recall that Edson Arantes do Nascimento was a deadly scorer who also, incredibly, played goalkeeper in a few games during his time with the Brazilian club Santos. After all, he was pegged the "Athlete of the Century" by the International Olympic Committee, and many of his former teammates and opponents acknowledged that Pelé was such an amazing talent that he likely would have been the best at any position he chose to play.
Caption: Brazil vs. Hungary, July 15, 1966
The 1966 World Cup was a rough one for Pelé and the reigning Brazilian squad. Pelé, badly injured, appeared in only three games--and only briefly in the one pictured here, a 3-1 loss to a formidable Hungarian team at Goodison Park in Liverpool. Still, his brilliance was evident every time he was one the pitch, and the English fans--passionate, discerning, and fully aware that they were witnessing genius at work and at play--followed Pelé's every move.
Caption: Breaks of the Game
While Pelé was hardly at his best against Hungary (shown) or any of the other clubs Brazil faced before being eliminated, he was still a force, and no team could risk letting him roam unmarked. The reports back to New York also captured some of the excitement of Americans covering the World Cup in the birthplace of "the simplest game." One dispatch to the LIFE editors by writer Mike Acoca notes that "the British press has gone wild over the way Hungary played. I must say I agree with their cheers."