This Day in History: 2022-12-19

Nr. 368


On 5 March 1961 Pelé was playing for Santos against Fluminense at the Maracana when he collected the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and headed towards goal. On his way he beat six players and the goalkeeper before scoring a goal which would become known as a ‘gol de placa’, meaning a goal worthy of a plaque. The Sao Paulo newspaper O Espore erected a commemorative plaque at the Maracana Stadium, which reads, ‘On this field on 5-3-1961 Pelé scored the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracana.’ Unfortunately, despite many searches, there is no footage of this goal.
Despite the maddening lack of footage Pele’s wonder strike at the Maracana for Santos in 1961 has firmly entered football folklore.