Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely considered one of the greatest football players of all time. The Brazilian striker known for his impressive goal scoring abilities and his ability to lead his team to victory on the pitch, is no more.
The legendary Brazilian soccer player who achieved great success and worldwide fame, passed away at the age of 82 on Thursday
Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital, where Pele was undergoing treatment, said he died at 3:27 p.m. “due to multiple organ failures resulting from the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous medical condition.”
The only player to have won the World Cup three times, passed away, as confirmed on his Instagram account.
“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today,” it read, adding he had “enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love.”
Pele was born in Tres Coracoes, Brazil in 1940. He began playing football at a young age and quickly rose through the ranks, joining the Santos FC youth team at just 15 years old. In 1956, Pele made his professional debut for Santos and quickly became one of the team’s star players, leading them to numerous victories in the Brazilian league and the Copa Libertadores.
Here are a few quotes from people who have praised Pele’s talent and impact on football:
“He was the greatest player I ever played against. He was the only player that, when you marked him, you had to do it with two players. He was the only one who could score goals with his left, his right, and with his head. He was an amazing player.” – Bobby Moore, former England captain
“He was the most complete player I’ve ever seen. He could score with either foot, head, and was a great passer. But it was his movement that set him apart. He was so hard to mark because he was always on the move.” – George Best, former Manchester United player
“He was the greatest because he was the most complete player and he scored goals in important games. In my time, Pele was the best player in the world and for me, he will always be the best.” – Diego Maradona, former Argentina and Napoli player
“He was the greatest player in the history of football, and it will be very difficult for anyone to surpass his records. His technical ability, his speed, his power, and his goalscoring record make him the best of all time.” – Cristiano Ronaldo, current Juventus and Portugal player
International Success Pele Has been Phenomenal
“God gave me this ability for one reason: To make people happy,” Pele said during a 2013 interview with Reuters. “No matter what I did, I tried not to forget that.”
The outstanding footballer talent and leadership skills were not limited to club level, as he also had a successful career with the Brazilian national team. He played in four World Cups, winning the trophy in 1958, 1962, and 1970. Pele scored a total of 77 goals for Brazil, making him the country’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who leaves office on Sunday, declared three days of mourning, and said in a statement that he was “a great citizen and patriot, raising the name of Brazil wherever he went.”
Bolsonaro’s successor, President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, wrote on Twitter that “few Brazilians carried the name of our country as far as he did.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said his legacy would live forever. “The game. The king. Eternity,” Macron tweeted.
Pele had been undergoing chemotherapy since he had a tumor removed from his colon in September 2021.
His impact on the world of football cannot be overstated. His goalscoring record and numerous titles make him one of the most decorated players in the sport’s history. He is also known for his sportsmanship and humble personality, making him a role model for young players around the world.
A Sportsman who captured millions of hearts around the world
Pele will always be remembered as the King of Football, a title he truly deserves due to his exceptional talent and contributions to the sport. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of players and fans.