Exclusive Content:

Ultimate Guide to Istanbul Top Attractions, Packed in One Weekend

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Easy Food Survey: Pizza Voted As One of the Most Satisfying Meals Ever

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Best Places to Get Your Mexican Food Fix When You Visit Mexico City

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Brazilian Soccer Legend Pele Dies At 82

DAVOS, Switzerland:  Former Brazilian soccer star Pele, Director of Empresas Pele (L) talks during the World Economic Forum session "Can a ball change the world: the role of sports in Development" 26 January 2006 in Davos.  AFP PHOTO FABRICE COFFRINI  (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
PPele

Pelé, the Brazilian soccer legend who won three World Cups and became the sport’s first global icon, has died at the age of 82.

“Everything that we are, is thanks to you,” his daughter Kely Nascimento wrote in a post on Instagram, under an image of family members holding Pele’s hands. “We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”

Pelé was admitted to a hospital in São Paulo in late November for a respiratory infection and for complications related to colon cancer. Last week, the hospital said his health had worsened as his cancer progressed. He died on Thursday from multiple organ failure due to the progression of colon cancer, according to a statement from Albert Einstein Hospital.

For more than 60 years, the name Pelé has been synonymous with soccer. He played in four World Cups and is the only player in history to win three, but his legacy stretched far beyond his trophy haul and remarkable goal-scoring record.

“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint,” Pelé famously said.

Tributes have been pouring in for the soccer legend. Pelé’s first club, Santos FC, responded to the news on Twitter with the words “eternal” shared next to an image of a crown.

Ad Feedback

Brazilian footballer Neymar said Pelé “changed everything.” In a post on Instagram, he wrote: “He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave a voice to the poor, to black people and especially: He gave visibility to Brazil. Football and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King!” he added.

Pelé and Argentine soccer great <a href=

Pelé attends a charity match in Manchester, England, in 2016.
Pelé is carried off the field by fans after Brazil defeated Italy in the final of the 1970 World Cup.

Pelé is carried off the field by fans after Brazil defeated Italy in the final of the 1970 World Cup.Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940. His parents named him after inventor Thomas Edison. <a href=

Pelé was just 16 years old when he made his debut for Brazil's national team. It was less than a year after he started playing professionally with Brazilian club Santos in 1956.
Pelé admires the Jules Rimet Trophy, the prize for winning the World Cup, circa 1958.
Pelé scores Brazil's third goal during the 1958 World Cup final against Sweden. Brazil won 5-2 to claim its first-ever World Cup. "When we won the World Cup, everybody knew about Brazil," he told CNN's Don Riddell many years later. "I think this was the most important thing I gave to my country because we were well known after that World Cup." 
Pelé cries on Brazilian teammate Gilmar after winning the World Cup in 1958. In addition to scoring twice in the final, Pelé scored a hat trick in the semifinal win against France. He also scored the team's lone goal in the quarterfinal win over Wales.
Pelé wears a sash after Santos became São Paulo state champions in 1961. Pelé played for the club from 1956-1974, scoring 618 goals and winning six Brazilian league titles. In 1962 and 1963, Santos won the Copa Libertadores, which is South America's premier club competition.
Pelé sits behind the wheel of his car in 1961. He grew up poor in Bauru, Brazil, and honed his craft playing barefoot with improvised balls made of coconuts or balls of socks.
Pelé returned to the World Cup with Brazil in 1962 and starred in the team's opening win over Mexico. But he was injured in the second match against Czechoslovakia and would miss the rest of the tournament. Brazil still defended its crown.
Pelé sits on a ball during a break in training in 1963. The Brazilian national team was in London to play a match against England.
Pelé is seen with his parents, Dondinho and Celeste, in 1965. Dondinho was a soccer player himself and taught his son how to play.
Pelé performs an overhead kick during a match in 1965. Dutch soccer star Johan Cruyff once said Pelé "was the only footballer who surpassed the boundaries of logic."
A soapy Pelé shakes hands with US Sen. Robert F. Kennedy after a match in Rio de Janeiro in 1965.
Pelé and his first wife, Rosemeri, meet Pope Paul VI while visiting the Vatican in 1966. The newlywed couple had been honeymooning in Germany, Austria and Italy.
Pelé signs autographs for children in 1966. He played in the 1966 World Cup with Brazil but the team didn't advance out of the group stage that year.
Pelé and his wife, Rosemeri, take their young daughter, Kely, out for a walk in 1967. It was their first child together. They would have three children in all before divorcing in 1978.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, award a trophy to Pelé after watching a match in Rio de Janeiro in 1968.
Pelé celebrates with fans after scoring his 1,000th career goal in 1969.
Pelé relaxes by a hotel swimming pool while in Mexico for the 1970 World Cup.
Pelé celebrates after scoring the first goal for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup final against Italy. The Brazilians won 4-1. "Before the match, I told myself that Pelé was just flesh and bones like the rest of us," Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich said after the match. "Later, I realized I'd been wrong."
Pelé celebrates with Jairzinho after winning the World Cup final in 1970. The Brazilians won all six matches at the tournament, and that team is considered by many to be one of the best of all time.
Pelé raises the Jules Rimet Trophy after winning the 1970 World Cup. Brazil was able to permanently keep that trophy for winning its third title, and a new World Cup trophy was introduced in 1974.
Pelé signs a soccer ball for US President Richard Nixon while visiting the White House with his wife, Rosemeri, in 1973. Pelé met several US presidents during his life. His celebrity status brought this famous quip from Ronald Reagan in 1986: "My name is Ronald Reagan, I'm the President of the United States of America. But you don't need to introduce yourself, because everyone knows who Pelé is."
Late-night television host Johnny Carson gets some pointers from Pelé in 1973.
Pelé waves to the crowd before making his debut with the New York Cosmos in 1975. He signed a $1.4 million a year contract with the Cosmos and made a big splash in the emerging league.
American football star Joe Namath, left, exchanges balls with Pelé during a promotional event in New York in 1975.
Cheerleaders wait to welcome Pelé onto the field during a Cosmos match in 1977.
Pelé holds Brazilian and American flags after his final match in 1977. It was an exhibition at Giants Stadium between the Cosmos and his longtime Brazilian club, Santos. He played the first half for the Cosmos and the second half for Santos.
Pelé attends a party with actors Michael Caine, left, and Sylvester Stallone. The three starred together in the 1981 film "Escape to Victory."
Pelé poses for a photo in Rio de Janeiro in 1991.
Pelé embraces two Brazilian stars -- Ronaldo, left, and Roberto Carlos -- after they finished first and second, respectively, for the 1997 FIFA World Player of the Year Award.
Pelé poses for a portrait in 2006. In his later years, Pelé was an outspoken political voice who championed the poor in Brazil. He served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for many years, promoting peace and support for vulnerable children.
Pelé and English soccer star David Beckham attend a gala benefit celebrating soccer in the United States in 2008.
Pelé and Argentine soccer great <a href=

Pelé attends a charity match in Manchester, England, in 2016.
Pelé is carried off the field by fans after Brazil defeated Italy in the final of the 1970 World Cup.
Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940. His parents named him after inventor Thomas Edison. <a href=
Pele

Portuguese star forward Cristiano Ronaldo sent his condolences to Brazil in a post on Instagram, saying “a mere “goodbye” to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that currently engulfs the entire football world.”

Kylian Mbappé of Paris Saint-Germain said of Pelé’s death: “The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.”

Former English soccer player Geoff Hurst wrote on Twitter of his memories of Pelé, calling the late star “without doubt the best footballer I ever played against (with Bobby Moore being the best footballer I ever played alongside). For me Pele remains the greatest of all time and I was proud to be on the the pitch with him. RIP Pele and thank you.”

Brazil’s incoming President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took to Twitter to pay his respects to Pelé, saying “few Brazilians took the name of our country as far as he did.”

“As different from Portuguese as the language was, foreigners from the four corners of the planet soon found a way to pronounce the magic word: ‘Pelé,’” Lula added.

A public wake will be held for Pelé on Monday at the Urbano Caldeira stadium, popularly known as Vila Belmiro and home to Santos football club, in Brazil’s São Paulo state, according to a Thursday statement from Santos FC.

At dawn Monday, Pele’s body will be moved from the Albert Einstein Hospital to the stadium. The soccer legend’s coffin will be placed in the center of the pitch.

The wake at Vila Belmiro will continue until Tuesday 10 a.m. local time (8 a.m. ET), after which a funeral procession will carry Pelé’s coffin through the streets of the city of Santos, including the street where Pelé’s 100-year-old mother, Celeste Arantes, lives.

The cortege will continue to Pelé’s final resting place, the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica cemetery in Santos, where a private funeral, reserved for family members, will be held.

Dazzling ability

Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações – an inland city roughly 155 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro – in 1940, before his family moved to the city of Bauru in São Paulo.

The genesis of the nickname Pelé are unclear, even to the footballer. He once wrote in the British newspaper The Guardian that it likely started with school classmates teasing him for mangling the nickname of another player, Bilé. Whatever the origin, the moniker stuck.

Exactly how many goals Pelé scored during his career is unclear, and his Guinness World Records tally has come under scrutiny with many scored in unofficial matches.

Exactly how many goals Pelé scored during his career is unclear, and his Guinness World Records tally has come under scrutiny with many scored in unofficial matches.Domicio Pinheiro/Agência Estado/AP

As a child, his first taste of soccer involved playing barefoot with socks and rags rolled up into a ball – a humble beginning that would grow into a long and fruitful career.

But when he first took up the game, his ambitions were modest.

“My dad was a good football player, he scored a lot of goals,” Pelé told CNN in 2015. “His name was Dondinho; I wanted to be like him.

“He was famous in Brazil, in Minas Gerais. He was my role model. I always wanted to be like him, but what happened, to this day, only God can explain.”

As a teenager, Pelé left home and began training with Santos, scoring his first goal for the club side before his 16th birthday. He would go on to score 619 times over 638 appearances for the club, but it is his feats in the iconic yellow jersey of Brazil for which he is best remembered.

The world first got a glimpse of Pelé’s dazzling ability in 1958, when he made his World Cup debut aged 17. He scored Brazil’s only goal in the country’s quarterfinal victory against Wales, then netted a hat-trick in the semifinal against France and two in the final against host Sweden.

Brazil players hold a banner showing support for former Brazil player Pele after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Brazil and South Korea on December 5.

Brazil players hold a banner showing support for former Brazil player Pele after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Brazil and South Korea on December 5.Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

“When Pelé scored the fifth goal in that final, I have to be honest and say I felt like applauding,” said Sweden’s Sigvard Parling.

For Pelé, the standout memory from the tournament was putting his country on the sporting map.

“When we won the World Cup, everybody knew about Brazil,” he told CNN’s Don Riddell in 2016. “I think this was the most important thing I gave to my country because we were well known after that World Cup.”

Another World Cup victory came in 1962, although an injury sidelined Pelé for the tournament’s later stages. Further injuries hampered his next campaign in 1966 as Brazil exited the competition after the group stage, but redemption came in 1970.

“Pelé was saying that we were going to win, and if Pelé was saying that, then we were going to win the World Cup,” Brazil’s co-captain Carlos Alberto said about the tournament.

That team – featuring the likes of Jairzinho, Gerson, Tostão, Rivellino, and, of course, Pelé – is regarded as one of the greatest ever assembled.

soccer-gods-illustration
Messi

In the final – a 4-1 victory against Italy – Brazil scored arguably the most famous World Cup goal of all time, a sweeping, length-of-the-pitch move involving nine of the team’s 10 outfield players.

It ended with Pelé teeing up Alberto, who drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Brazil’s mantra of jogo bonito (the beautiful game) has never been better encapsulated.

Pelé, who had considered retiring before the 1970 World Cup, scored a goal of his own in the final and a total of four over the course of the tournament.

“Before the match, I told myself that Pelé was just flesh and bones like the rest of us,” Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich said after his side’s defeat in the final. “Later, I realized I’d been wrong.”

The tournament capped Pelé’s World Cup career but not his time in the spotlight. In 1975, he signed a $1.67-million-a-year contract in the United States with the New York Cosmos.

One of the greatest players

With his larger-than-life personality and extraordinary dribbling skills – a trademark of his game – Pele’s helped the Cosmos win the North American Soccer League championship in 1977 before officially retiring from football.

The league, which attracted further big names like Giorgio Chinaglia and Franz Beckenbauer, wouldn’t last, ultimately folding in 1984. But around the world, Pelé’s influence endured.

He remained in the public eye through endorsement deals and as an outspoken political voice who championed the poor in Brazil. He served as a Goodwill UNICEF ambassador for many years, promoting peace and support for vulnerable children.

Health problems persisted for much of Pelé’s later life. He got around with the support of a walker – an item he was filmed shoving around with disdain in a documentary released last year – and in September 2021, he underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his right colon.

Paris Saint-Germain and France national football team forward Kylian Mbappe (R) and Brazilian football legend Pele take part in a meeting at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris on April 2, 2019.

Paris Saint-Germain and France national football team forward Kylian Mbappe (R) and Brazilian football legend Pele take part in a meeting at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris on April 2, 2019.Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Pelé’s cancer treatment continued over the past year. He was hospitalized in Sao Paulo in November as the 2022 World Cup was being played in Qatar, prompting an outpouring of support from the global soccer community and beyond.

Debate will inevitably rage about whether Pelé is the greatest player of all time – whether it is possible to compare Pelé’s achievements to those of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, who have rewritten soccer’s record books over the past 15 years, or to Diego Maradona, the late Argentinian star who captivated the footballing world in the 1980s and 90s.

In 2000, FIFA jointly named Maradona and Pelé as Player of the Century, but to some, the outright winner of the award should have been obvious.

“This debate about the player of the century is absurd,” said Zico, who represented Brazil in the decade after Pelé’s retirement. “There’s only one possible answer: Pelé. He’s the greatest player of all time, and by some distance, I might add.”

Before Christmas, Pele's daughter posted a moving photo with father in hospital.

Before Christmas, Pele’s daughter posted a moving photo with father in hospital.Kely Nascimento/Instagram

Exactly how many goals Pelé scored during his career is unclear, and his Guinness World Records tally has come under scrutiny with many scored in unofficial matches.

In March 2021, he congratulated Portugal’s Ronaldo for passing his “record of goals in official matches”

There is little doubt, however, that Pelé was, and always will be, football’s first global superstar.

“If I pass away one day, I am happy because I tried to do my best,” he told The Talks online magazine. “My sport allowed me to do so much because it’s the biggest sport in the world.”

Latest

Discover the Newest Waterproof and Fast Smartphones that Come on Sale

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

New Small Speaker Review: Pricing is Not Always the Only Criteria

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Apple Electronics Climb the List of the Top Gadgets in Forbes Magazine

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Technology Will Help Keep Your Home from Becoming Obsolete

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Newsletter

spot_img

Don't miss

Discover the Newest Waterproof and Fast Smartphones that Come on Sale

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

New Small Speaker Review: Pricing is Not Always the Only Criteria

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Apple Electronics Climb the List of the Top Gadgets in Forbes Magazine

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Technology Will Help Keep Your Home from Becoming Obsolete

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...

Things to Look For in a Financial Trading Platform Environment

I understand how that could positively effect your body,...
spot_imgspot_img

Discover the Newest Waterproof and Fast Smartphones that Come on Sale

I understand how that could positively effect your body, but alchemizing means turning elements to gold basically through magic. That lead me to research...

New Small Speaker Review: Pricing is Not Always the Only Criteria

I understand how that could positively effect your body, but alchemizing means turning elements to gold basically through magic. That lead me to research...

Apple Electronics Climb the List of the Top Gadgets in Forbes Magazine

I understand how that could positively effect your body, but alchemizing means turning elements to gold basically through magic. That lead me to research...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here