The 20 Greatest Teenagers in Sports History

2. Pele

Sport: Soccer

Achievements As a Teen: Pele began playing for Brazilian club side Santos at only 15, the Brazilian national team at 16 years of age, and won his first World Cup at 17. So much for a learning curve. It was in that first World Cup in 1958 that Pele was introduced to the world. He scored the only goal in the quarters against Wales, then went on to record a hat-trick in the semis against France. This, of course, made him the youngest to record a hat-trick in World Cup history. In the final against Sweden, Pele scored twice en route to a 5-2 victory. He was overcome with joy after winning the title, and rightly so. We can only imagine what it would be like to lift one of the most coveted trophies in sports history before 18.

Career Recap: In 1999, Pele was voted Football Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. That same year "The Black Pearl," was hailed as Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. With 1,281 goals in 1,363 games Pele is the most successful league goal scorer in the world. Pele is the all-time leading scorer for the Brazil national team and remains the only footballer to be part of three World Cup winning squads.

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