Three time World Cup winner (1958, 1962, 1970) Edson Arantes do Nascimento, commonly known as Pelé, is widely considered to be the greatest footballer of all time.
The legendary Brazilian scored 77 goals for his country in his 91 appearances but he never made the switch to European football. He played all of his domestic football for Santos and New York Cosmos.
At Santos, the same club that Neymar Jr. of Barcelona started at, Pelé scored nearly a goal a game, with 619 goals in 638 games.
In the last two seasons of his career, (1975/76 and 1976/77) the forward moved to the USA and played for New York. Here he played 56 games, scoring 31 times.
In an interview with CNN, Pelé revealed that he rejected some top European teams so that he could stay and play for Santos.
The legend said:
“I had many offers to play for Real Madrid, in Milan and Manchester United,”
“However Santos was doing well, I was playing well. I didn’t want to leave. Nowadays, players leave very early.”
“The player has lost his passion for his country, for his club. But for football itself, no.”
“He’ll continue to play and have an emotion for it. But nobody plays for a club to be loyal to a club.”
“Nowadays, they play for the country that pays the most. You don’t have that loyalty.”
In 2000, Pelé won the FIFA World Player of the Century Award.