Brazilian football legend Pele died on Thursday at the age of 82. He became famous around the world when he was just a teenager and started scoring goals. He also led his country to a record-setting three World Cup titles.
He was taken to the hospital at the end of November, and in December, doctors told him he had advanced cancer, as well as problems with his kidneys and heart. He had surgery in September 2021 to remove a tumour from his colon.
In a statement, the Albert Einstein hospital where Pele was being treated said that he died because many of his organs failed.
“You are the reason we are what we are. We love you so much. Rest in peace, “Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram that she was sad.
Fans of the football star will be able to say goodbye to him at the stadium where he played soccer starting on Monday.
Pele’s body will be laid to rest at Vila Belmiro Stadium, outside of Sao Paulo, on Monday morning. It will stay there for 24 hours.
Then, his coffin will be carried in a procession through the streets of Santos, his hometown, where it will pass by the house where his mother, who is 100 years old, lives. In a private ceremony, he will be buried at the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica in Santos.
Pele is thought to be one of the best football players of all time. He played for Brazil in the World Cup and for his club team, Santos, in club games and on international tours. At the end of his career, he played for the New York Cosmos, which helped bring football to the United States.
Pele was born on October 23, 1940, in Três Coraces, which is about 250 kilometers northwest of Rio de Janeiro. At the age of 15, he signed with Santos.
By the time he was 16, he was a member of Brazil’s national team. In 1958, when he was 17, he played in his first World Cup. He is the youngest player to score in the men’s World Cup and the youngest to score three goals in one game, which he did in Brazil’s second game of the tournament.
Pele scored two more goals in the tournament’s last game to help Brazil win the title. In 1962 and 1970, he won two more World Cups with Brazil.
During his international career, he scored 77 goals in 92 games. Along with Diego Maradona of Argentina, he was named the co-player of the 20th century by FIFA.
After leaving Santos and the national team, Pele joined the North American Soccer League’s New York Cosmos in 1975. He played there for three years.
The New York Cosmos said in a statement that Pele helped change the way soccer is played in the United States. “Where there used to be baseball fields, there are now soccer fields.”
Pele was Brazil’s sports minister after he stopped playing football. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization named him UNESCO Champion for Sport for his “outstanding commitment to promote sport and help disadvantaged children.”
In 2020, Pele tweeted that he was proud of his relationship with the U.N. and his work with campaigns to promote breastfeeding in Brazil and get rid of illiteracy.
“Today, I insist on working with NGOs, public institutions, and my sponsors on good causes,” he wrote. “This is part of my legacy, and I applaud other football legends who have used the beautiful game to make the world a better place in the same way.”
Brazil is in mourning for three days, and the arch at Wembley Stadium in London has been lit up in the colours of Brazil.
“I was lucky enough to see Pele play live at Pacaembu and Morumbi, which younger Brazilians didn’t get to do. Play, no. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will be the next president of Brazil, said, “I saw Pele put on a show.”
He said, “Because every time he got the ball, he did something special, which usually led to a goal.”
Neymar, who is also from Brazil and plays for Paris Saint-Germain, said that soccer was just a game before Pele.
“He made football an art and something fun to do…. Because of the King, both football and Brazil got more attention. He is gone, but the magic he made will live on. Pele is for all time!” Neymar put a message on Instagram.
Kylian Mbappe, a star player from France, said that Pele’s legacy will last.
“The king of football is no longer with us, but his legacy will live on forever. RIP KING.” Mbappe told people on Twitter.
Lionel Messi, the captain of the Argentina team that won the World Cup, tweeted Thursday, “Rest in peace, Pele.”
U.S. President Joe Biden said this about Pele: “For a sport that brings the world together like no other, Pele’s rise from humble beginnings to soccer legend is a story of what is possible.”
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said that Pele was a hero to many people and one of the best players ever.
“We Love You Without End”
People from all over the world paid tribute to the late football star, and one of them was his daughter, the documentary filmmaker Kely Nascimento. She put a picture of his family holding his hand while he rested in a hospital bed on Instagram.
“Thanks to you, we are everything we are,” Nascimento wrote. “We love you very much. Rest in peace.”
According to medical reports, Pele died because of problems with many of his organs. These problems were caused by his battle with colon cancer. He was in the hospital for a number of reasons, including a respiratory infection, heart problems, and kidney problems.
In September 2021, Pele had a tumour taken out of his colon. On November 29, he was taken to the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo.
Doctors there said that his colon cancer was “progressing” and that he needed “more extensive care to treat kidney and heart failure.”
Many people think that Pele was the best football player ever. He led Brazil to three World Cup wins in 1958, 1962, and 1970. He still has the most goals for Brazil, with 77 goals in 92 games.
After Argentina won the World Cup on December 18 in Qatar, Pele posted a picture of them holding the trophy on social media and praised the play of captain Lionel Messi, France’s rising star Kylian Mbappe, and surprise semifinalists Morocco.
“Football continues to tell its story in an exciting way today, just as it always has,” he said. “What a gift it was to see the future of our sport in this show.”
Brazil players and fans in Qatar also held up banners with pictures of the great soccer player and well-wishes for his recovery.
Pele’s larger-than-life presence and remarkable dribbling talents helped the Cosmos win the NASL championship in 1977.
Giorgio Chinaglia and Franz Beckenbauer joined the league, which folded in 1984. Pelé’s influence persisted worldwide.
He stayed in the public glare by endorsing products and speaking out for Brazil’s disadvantaged. He was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for years, supporting peace and helping vulnerable children.
Later in life, Pelé had health issues. In September 2021, he had a tumour removed from his right colon. He was recorded disdaining his walker in a video aired last year.
Last year, Pelé continued cancer therapy. He was hospitalized in Sao Paulo in November while the 2022 World Cup was in Qatar, sparking global sympathy.
Pelé’s exploits will be compared to those of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have rewritten soccer’s record books in the past 15 years, or Diego Maradona, who captivated the footballing world in the 1980s and 90s.
In 2000, FIFA selected Maradona and Pelé Player of the Century, but the winner was apparent.
Zico, who represented Brazil following Pelé’s retirement, called the issue “absurd.” It’s Pelé. He’s the greatest player ever, by far.”
Pelé’s Guinness World Records count is questionable because several goals were scored in unofficial matches.
In March 2021, he praised Ronaldo for passing his “official goals record” of 767.
Pelé was football’s first global superstar.
If he dies, he’ll be happy since he did his best. “The world’s biggest sport allowed me to do so much.”