- On Thursday, Pelé, the King of Football from Brazil and record-holder for three World Cup victories, passed away at the age of 82
The iconic figure of world football tragically passed away due to the consequences of colon cancer, which he had been battling since 2021. The medical center where he was hospitalized for an entire month reported that his death was caused by multi-organ failure associated with the disease.
Another Brazilian football player, Neymar, posted on Instagram, “Pelé changed everything. He transformed football into art and entertainment. Football and Brazil elevated their standing thanks to the King! He is gone, but his magic will endure. Pelé is eternal!”
In honor of his remarkable career, a heartfelt funeral is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. His casket will be carried through the streets of Santos to commemorate where it all began before being laid to rest.
Revered as a soccer legend, Pelé spent nearly two decades enthralling his fans and captivating opponents with his extraordinary scoring ability for the Brazilian club Santos and Brazil’s national team.
Pelé’s athleticism, gracefulness, and captivating moves amazed players and spectators alike. His game-changing style of swift yet graceful play encapsulated the beauty of Brazilian football – a samba energy that still resonates today.
His remarkable athleticism carried Brazilian soccer to unprecedented heights, and he acted as an ambassador for the sport worldwide. It all began on rural streets of Sao Paulo state, where he would use a homemade ball crafted from socks filled with newspapers or cloth rags.
Pelé is credited with between 650 (league matches) and 1,281 (all senior matches with a few against low-level competitions) goals in all his representations.
At just 17, the player who would come to be known as “The King” was unveiled to the world at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden – making him not only one of the youngest players ever to participate in a tournament but also an instant sensation. After netting two goals and helping Brazil secure a 5-2 victory over host country Sweden during that final match, his teammates honored him by carrying him off of the field on their shoulders.
Soccer fans around the globe will never forget Pelé in his iconic yellow Brazil jersey, with the No. 10 displayed on its back and his legendary goal celebration of a leap into the air with one arm raised high above him.