The three-time World Cup winner with Brazil had been battling illness in hospital for a month, with his family at his side. Following confirmation of his death, Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Pele suffered from kidney and prostate problems in recent years. He was admitted to Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital in Sao Paulo on November 29, after picking up a respiratory infection and for “re-evaluation of the chemotherapy treatment over colon cancer identified in September 2021,” according to an official statement.
Regarded as arguably the greatest footballer of all time, he’s credited with scoring a world-record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances over his 21-year career, including 77 goals in 92 matches for Brazil. The Santos hero is the only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
In 2000, Pele was named by FIFA as their Player of the Century. Greats of the games such as Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Ferenc Puskas and Bobby Moore named him the greatest player in history. Alongside Diego Maradona, Pele goes down as the defining player of the 20th century.
A translated post on his official social media channels wrote: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today. On his journey, Edson 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.
“His message today becomes a legacy for future generations. Love, love and love, forever.”
Have your say! Is Pele the greatest player of all time? Let us know your pick in the comments section.
Tributes flooded in following Thursday evening’s announcement, as the football world mourned his death. Former England striker Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter: “Pele has died. The most divine of footballers and joyous of men. He played a game only a few chosen ones have come close to. 3 times he lifted the most coveted gold trophy in that beautiful yellow shirt. He may have left us but he’ll always have footballing immortality. RIP Pele.”
Meanwhile, French superstar Kylian Mbappe – who in 2018 became the youngest man since Pele to score in a World Cup final – gave his condolences by writing on Twitter: “The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP KING.”
The Premier League’s Twitter account added: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Pele, an extraordinarily gifted footballer who transcended our sport and inspired millions throughout his remarkable career. Our thoughts and sincere condolences go to Pele’s family and friends.”
Source:Story by Nathan Ridley,The Mirror