World Cup’s 101 Most Memorable Moments: Gordon Banks robs Pelé

Editor’s note: Every day from now until the start of the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on November 20, we will reveal a different memory from the history of the World Cup. The the countdown from 101 continues with Gordon Banks’ super save.

It is often called the greatest save in football history. In England’s group stage match against mighty Brazil in the 1970 World Cup, Gordon Banks, the Three Lions’ knightly goalkeeper, ran across this line and somehow avoided what it looked like a certain goal no less than Pelé himself.

Without marking at the far post, Pelé found Jairzinho’s cross perfectly from the right wing. “I hit that header exactly how I expected. Exactly where I wanted it to go. And I was ready to celebrate,” said Pele, who became close friends with Banks in the decades after their shared moment on the biggest stage. , he said after the Death of an Englishman in 2019.

“He came from nowhere and did something I didn’t think was possible,” added the great Brazilian. “It kind of pushed my head up and over. And I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“Even now when I look at it, I can’t believe how it moved so far, so fast.”

Gordon Banks robs Pele

Gordon Banks robs Pele

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