The Brazilian soccer star Edson Arantes do Nascimento who is popularly known as Pelé, died Thursday December 29, 2022 at Brazil’s Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital after failing to recover from colon cancer at the age of 82.
The death of the only man to win the World Cup three times as a player was confirmed on his Instagram account.
Pelé, the Brazilian king of soccer who won a record three World Cups was, according to the hospital statement, battling with cancer died at 3.27 pm due to multiple organ failures resulting from the progression of colon cancer.
“Pelé changed everything. He transformed football into art, entertainment,” Neymar, a fellow Brazilian soccer star, said on Instagram. “Football and Brazil elevated their standing thanks to the King! He is gone, but his magic will endure. Pelé is eternal!”
Tributes poured in from across the worlds of sport, politics and popular culture for a figure who epitomised Brazil’s dominance of the beautiful game.
Brazil has declared three days of mourning.
Pele took home first World Cup at 17-years in Sweden in 1958. In 1962 he again lifted the World Cup in Chile and for the third time he lifted the world cup in Mexico in 1970 and took it to his home country.
In addition to the world cup, Pele also won two Copa Libertadores and two Intercontinental Cups.
The football giant, nicknamed, “the Black Pearl”, and “the King”, retired from the game in 1974.
In a glorious 21-year career, Pele scored Pele was named “Athlete of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, co-“Football Player of the Century” by world football body FIFA, and a “national treasure” by Brazil’s government had scored a world record 1,283 during his professional career.
A Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, and as a UNESCO Champion for Sport, from 1994 soccer legend Pele was also appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the crucial UN Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992.
Meanwhile, tributes poured in from across the worlds of sport, politics and other sectors for a heroic figure including French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Joe Biden along with football stars.