Pele Dies at 82. Football Loses its King
Brazil legend and footballing icon Pele has sadly passed away at the age of 82 following a battle against cancer.
Born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento, he became better known as ‘Pele’ and is widely considered the best player to have ever graced a football pitch. He, remarkably, scored 77 goals in just 92 international appearances for Brazil and was part of world-renowned teams that won three World Cups between 1958 and 1970.
Pele’s 21-year domestic career saw him represent just two clubs. Debuting in 1956 for boyhood team Santos, he made 636 appearances for the club prior to spending two years with New York Cosmos of the now-abolished North American Soccer League. Upon retirement in 1976, he had scored 655 club goals in 700 games.
Among several accolades, Pele was voted World Player of the Century in 2000 and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century. He received the first-ever FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur in 2014, whilst analysis showed he would have won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times if it had existed during his career.
It was announced in 2021 that Pele had undergone surgery to remove a tumour on the right side of his colon and later began chemotherapy in September of that year. During recent weeks, however, his condition appeared to have worsened after a comment was made explaining his “tumour had advanced.”
Brazil players paid tribute to Pele after their last-16 win over South Korea during the 2022 World Cup, holding up a banner with his name and picture.
Popular Tribute to Pele
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
— Gary Lineker ?? (@GaryLineker) December 29, 2022
I have so many memories of Pele, 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. pic.twitter.com/oCpQlw7EIK
— Sir Geoff Hurst (@TheGeoffHurst) December 29, 2022
We are truly saddened to hear the news of Pele’s passing.
As a club, we had the privilege of hosting Pele in 1981, at Highbury. A memory we will always cherish.
Our thoughts, along with entire football community are with Pele’s loved ones today. pic.twitter.com/PZgWmXvSRh
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 29, 2022