The World In Stamps

A journey in a stamps collection

Legends Of Football Celebrated in Postage Stamps

in 1972, legends of Football were celebrated in Postage Stamps from Al Manama (Today part of the United Arab Emirates). The set of 6 postage stamps featured photos of famous football players from Brazil, Italy, England, Germany and Scotland. 

Pelé from Brazil

Pelé - Legend of the football from Brazil celebrated in postage stamps
Pelé won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1970
Former Brazilian professional football player Edson Arantes do Nascimento (born in 1940), better known by his stage name Pelé, was a forward. He was among the most accomplished and well-known athletes of the 20th century, that FIFA even named him “the greatest” player of all time. He was named the International Olympic Committee’s Athlete of the Century in 1999, and Time named him among the 100 most influential individuals of the 20th century. Pelé was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award in 2000 and was chosen by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as the World Player of the Century.
Including friendly games, he scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which is recognized as a Guinness World Record.
At age 15, Pelé joined Santos, and at age 16, he joined the Brazil national team. He was the only player to win three FIFA World Cups throughout his international career, in 1958, 1962, and 1970. After the 1958 tournament, he earned the appellation O Rei (The King). With 77 goals in 92 appearances, Pelé is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer. He has 643 goals in 659 games, making him Santos’ all-time leading scorer at the club level. He guided Santos to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores as well as the 1962 and 1963 Intercontinental Cup during a prosperous period for the team.

Gigi Riva from Italy

Luigi Riva - Legend of the football from Italy celebrated in postage stamps
Luigi Riva – Played in the Italian national team from 1965 to 1974

Luigi “Gigi” Riva (born in 1944) is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a centre-forward.

Due to his poise in front of goal, strong left foot, and aerial prowess, Riva, who is regarded as one of the greatest strikers of all time, enjoyed a remarkable scoring record for Cagliari football club. His speed, strength, and eye for goal earned him the nickname “Rombo di Tuono” (Roar of Thunder). With the exception of his first season with Legnano, Riva spent his entire playing career with Cagliari Calcio in Sardinia; he assisted the club in its first promotion to the Italian top division in 1964 and later guided them to their lone Serie A championship in 1969–70.

With the Italian national team, Riva won the 1968 UEFA European Championship and finished in second place at the 1970 FIFA World Cup. He also competed in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. He is Italy’s all-time leading scorer with 35 goals in 42 appearances (in all official competitions) between 1965 and 1974. 

Uwe Seeler from West-Germany

Uwe Seeler - Legend of the football from West Germany celebrated in postage stamps
Uwe Seeler played in the west german national team in four FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970..

German football player and official Uwe Seeler (1936 – 2022), is widely recognized as one of the best footballers in German football history. During his career, he scored a large number of goals for Hamburger SV as a striker and played in 72 matches for West Germany. He was captain of both his club team and the national team for many years. Pelé named Seeler as one of FIFA’s 100 greatest living players in 2004. 

Pelé and Seeler both competed in the 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970 FIFA World Cups. In 1966, the West German team, advanced to the final but fell to England, the host nation, 4-2 after extra time. In 1958, the German team came in fourth; in 1970, the West German team came in third after losing to Italian rivals in the semi-finals, 4-3 in extra time, in a fierce contest known as the “Game of the Century.” 

Due to his fairness and humility, Seeler was a very popular player, in Hamburg and the surrounding region. He was appointed the second honorary captain of the German national team by the DFB (German Football Association) in 1972. (the first being Fritz Walter).

Bobby Moore from England

Bobby Moore - Legend of the football from England celebrated in postage stamps
Bobby Moore was the captain of the England national team that won the 1966 FIFA World Cup

Robert Moore (1941 – 1993) was an English professional football player. He is best known for having captained West Ham United for more than 10 years. In addition, he was also the captain who led the English national team to the 1966 FIFA World Cup victory. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest defenders in football history. Moreover he was named by Pelé as the best defender he had ever faced.

Moore, who is widely regarded as West Ham’s all-time best player, spent 16 years with the club and appeared in over 600 games. He led the club to winning the FA Cup in 1963–64 and the UEFA Winners’ Cup in 1964–65.

At the age of 23, Moore was appointed captain of England, and in 1966, he won the World Cup. He earned a total of 108 caps for his nation, which was a record at the time of his international retirement in 1973. Moore was selected among other facmous footballers as member of the World Team of the 20th Century. At the entrance to Wembley Stadium, a bronze statue, commemorates Moore as a national team icon. 

In 2002, Moore was the first player inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in honor of his contributions. The same year, he was included on the BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons.

Gérson from Brazil

Gérson - Legend of the football from Brazil

Gérson winner of the 1970 FIFA World Cup with the Brazilian national team.

Brazilian former association football player Gérson de Oliveira Nunes, also known as Gérson and known by the moniker Canhotinha de ouro (roughly, Golden Left Foot), played as a midfielder. With the club teams of Flamengo, Botafogo, So Paulo, and Fluminense, he won multiple national championships.

One of the best passers in World Cup history is Gérson. Despite his lackluster performance in 1966 World Cup, he was the driving force behind the whole Brazilian national squad in the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He is recognized as the best midfielder and passer in that Brazilian team’s history, as well as the best player in the 4-1 triumph against Italy in the World Cup final. He participated in 87 games for Brazil in all, scoring 19 goals, one of which came in the 1970 World Cup final.

Denis Law from Scotland

Denis Law - Legend of the football from Scotland
Denis Law represented Scotland at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.

Scottish retired football player Denis Law (born in 1940) was a forward. In 1956, Huddersfield Town of the Second Division was where he began his playing career. He spent four years at Huddersfield before being acquired by Manchester City. Law stayed there for a year before moving to Torino Football Club in Italy. These transfers of Denis Law set set a new British records in players’ transfer fees. Despite having a strong game in Italy, he struggled to fit in and left. In 1962, he moved with Manchester United for another British record transfer fee.

Law played 404 times during his 11 years with Manchester United, tallying 237 goals. In terms of goals scored, he ranks third all-time at the club, behind Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney. His fans dubbed him The King and The Lawman, while his detractors dubbed him Denis the Menace. Denis Law was the only player from Scotland to receive the Ballon d’Or, he did so in 1964. He also assisted his club in winning the First Division in 1965 and 1967. Due to an injury, he was unavailable for their 1968 European Cup victory.Law played 55 matches with the Scotland national team. The match against Zaire in the 1974 FIFA World Cup proved to be the last of his appearances for Scotland.


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