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I've found 3 different statistics for Pelé assists in world cups. One puts him as the all time top assist provider, another with a shared record, and another with no record at all.

This source, Most assists in FIFA world cup says he has 8 assists.

This source, Historical ranking says he has 6 assists.

This source, 5 World Cup records both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will never break says he has 10 assists.

How many assists does he really have? Is there an official source?

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4 Answers 4

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It is the question which is very interesting to me as well. I am not claiming that my answer is true for 100 %, but in my opinion Pele has 7 assists in World Cups - see the explanation below:

  1. International Federation of Football History & Statistics claims that Pele has 8 assists (take a look at the link): Over his World Cup career, Pele was involved in 20 goals of Brazil: he scored 12 by himself and assisted for 8 (6 of his assists came at 1970 edition, 1 at 1958 and 1 at 1962).
  2. Two assists made in WC1958 and WC1962 are mentioned in the Wiki page about Pele (WC1958 - during the match with USSR, and WC1962 - during the match with Mexico), so let's say two assists from the two aforementioned World Cups are confirmed;
  3. On the other hand, site "Planet World Cup" states that Pele made only five assists in the WC1970;
  4. You can check all assists in the matches' descriptions - just click on the result of the match;
  5. Last thing - I saw all goals of Brazil team during WC1970 (there are a lot of them in "Youtube", even in quite high quality), and paid special attention to the players which made assists, but I have noticed only FIVE assists made by Pele:
  • 1 during the match with England;
  • 1 - with Peru;
  • 1 - with Uruguay;
  • 2 - with Italy.

So my answer is - 7 assists.

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  • I've also seen several websites stating Pelé gave 5 assists in 1970. In 1966 he didnt give any, because he played only one match which can be seen here youtube.com/watch?v=TPlHdo5mDHM . Confirmation is still needed on how many assists he gave in 1958 and 1962.
    – Pablo
    Dec 21, 2022 at 19:28
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    vs Portugal - one goal by Rildo, assisted by Jairzinho. WC1962 - two matches: vs Mexico - one assist for the first goal by Zagallo, one goal; vs Czechoslovakia - 0:0. WC1958 - four matches: vs USSR - first goal goal by Vava was assisted by Didi, second - by Pele; vs Wales - 1:0, goal by Pele, so no assist for him; vs France - 3 goals, max. 2 assists could be attributed for Pele; vs Sweden - 2 goal, max. 3 assists could be attributed to Pele. Dec 22, 2022 at 11:51
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    If you have time, you can watch highlights of both matches and check for assists from Pele: youtube.com/watch?v=LVYsN_lyFyQ youtube.com/watch?v=3A3YbP9_Ty8 Dec 22, 2022 at 11:55
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    Check this: transfermarkt.com/brazil_france/index/spielbericht/987257 transfermarkt.com/brazil_sweden/index/spielbericht/987259 "Transfermarkt" site attributes no assists to Pele in the semi-final and the final of WC1958. But Pele made one assist - during the match with USSR: youtube.com/watch?v=vPQ_fRX_ZDE As Wiki states and as clearly visible in the video second goal of Vava was assisted by Pele. So Pele provided one assist in WC1958 and total number of his assists during all his four WC is 7 (seven). Dec 22, 2022 at 18:05
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    Vs France, 1st goal - assist was made by the player which is not black and is of different stature than Pele (Garrincha? "Transfermarkt" states he is the author of the assist); Vs France, 2nd goal - it seems Didi wins the ball by himself, so no assist; Vs Sweden, 1st goal - cross by Garrincha, and Pele tries to touch the ball, but I am not sure he succeeds or not; Vs Sweden, 2nd goal - very obvious pass by Garrincha; Vs Sweden, 4th goal - Zagallo steals the ball from the Sweden defenders, so no assist. Dec 22, 2022 at 20:04
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He has 9 or 10.

On the official FIFA page, he has the record for scoring the most contributions , goals + assists in the final match. 3 goals and 3 assists.

2 goals and 1 assist Vs Sweden in 1958 and 1 goal with 2 assists Vs Italy in 1970. https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/tournaments/mens/worldcup/articles/a-tribute-to-pele-brazil-santos-new-york-cosmos-legend-fifa-world-cup

So in 1958, it's 2 assists, 1 Vs USSR and 1 Vs Sweden.

Then, he made 1 more assist in 1962 Vs Mexico, his solo run goals dribbling 4-5 mexican players + his beautiful assist.

And in 1970 he made 6 assists (Most of anyone in one competition) or 7 assists, according to FIFA website it was 6. But on some websites it was 7, one assist is still debated

So, 2(1958) + 1(1962) + 6 or 7 (1970). You can choose, because FIFA, IFFHS and Opta still have differences in interpreting an assist.

Edit : FIFA has not made a statement about Pele's total number of assists. However, after I explored the official FIFA website along with videos of Brazil's goals between 1958-1970 in the World Cup.

I see Pele has a record of 6 assists in knockout stages. Most (shared with Messi). This is confirmed from the official FIFA website : https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/articles/lionel-messi-fifa-world-cup-records-milestones-argentina-appearances-assists-goals

But after I counted, if 6 total in the knock-out stage, then that's exactly 10 assists. In group stages, Pele made 1 V USSR (1958), 1 V Mexico(1962) and 2 vs England (for jair) and Czechoslovakia in 1970. So group stages 4 in totals.

In the knockout stages? There are 6 according to FIFA, and after looking at previous data, I only found 5 assist in total. 1 Vs Sweden (1958), 4 in 1970 ( 1 Vs Peru, 1 Vs Uruguay, 2 vs Italy). So where does another one come from... I finally decided to look at the 1958 WC video.

Against Wales, it was impossible, because Pele scored the only goal of the match.

So it's probably Brazil vs France. Pele scores 3 goals from total 5 Brazil's goals. This has to be a Vava or Didi goal. And finally I found video footage of Didi's goal, the ball from Pele's deflected pass, which Didi grabbed and he shot a long-range shot. This is Pele's 6th assist What we have been looking for in the knock-out stage.

So 10, 4 from groups stages and 6 from knockout stages

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At least 9.

The best sources are FIFA and the Guinness Book of records.

FIFA site says he made 6 in total in 1970, and referred to an assist he made in the 1958 cup final v Sweden.

The Guinness Book of records refers to an assist made against USSR in his first match in 1958 and then against Mexico in 1962.

So, from these 2 official reliable sources, that's at least a combined total of 9. I think that is a solid figure from the most reliable sources.

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  • Welcome aboard I guess. Guinness Book of records isnt a good source, they were wrong about the all time goalscorer record for a calendar year. They are more about news flashes than accuracy
    – Pablo
    Dec 26, 2022 at 21:20
  • Not sure what record you are referring to?? What did they get wrong?
    – S A R
    Dec 26, 2022 at 21:31
  • They believed Messi was the all time goalscorer for a calendar year when a reporter found that person was an african.
    – Pablo
    Dec 27, 2022 at 0:03
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    Also, to be honest, not even FIFA is a very reliable source. The community manager who writes the articles at the fifa.com website several times made mistakes, like attributing golden balls to players when the award didnt exist yet. That's because they just see info in internet and they believe it to be true and use it without researching.
    – Pablo
    Dec 27, 2022 at 0:06
  • BTW, this FIFA site (fifa.com) article states Pelé did 5 assists in 1970. I wouldnt be surprised if there is another article which says differently in the same website, though. fifa.com/fifaplus/en/articles/…
    – Pablo
    Dec 28, 2022 at 11:32
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According to the Transfermarkt, he scored 12 goals and assisted 8 goals in 14 games of the FIFA World Cup excluding qualification. In the qualificition, he scored 6 goals and assisted 3 goals in six games.

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