Brazil football legend Pele dies aged 82 after colon cancer battle
By TOI Staff December 29, 2022 Update on : December 29, 2022
One of the all-time great football players, Pele, passed away at the age of 82.
Former Brazilian striker who played for Santos, New York Cosmos, and Brazil passed away after being admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on November 29.
A inspiração e o amor marcaram a jornada de Rei Pelé, que faleceu no dia de hoje.
Amor, amor e amor, para sempre.
Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.
Love, love and love, forever. pic.twitter.com/CP9syIdL3i
— Pelé (@Pele) December 29, 2022
With 77 goals in 92 international games, Pele is tied for first all-time in goals scored for Brazil. In 1958, 1962, and 1970, he became the first player to win three FIFA World Cups.
He received the International Olympic Committee’s Athlete of the Century award in 1999, and the International Federation of Football History & Statistics awarded him World Player of the Century the following year.
The governing organization of football in the world, FIFA, refers to him as “the Greatest.”
The son of Fluminense player Dondinho and Celeste Arantes, Pele was born in 1940 in the town of Tres Coracoes.
At the young age of 15, he made his Santos debut, and at the age of 16, he received his first complete Brazil cap. He scored on his country’s debut, and 65 years later, he is still Brazil’s youngest-ever scorer.
With 643 goals from 659 games, Pele leads Santos in all-time goals scored. He also assisted the Brazilian team in winning several trophies, including six league crowns, the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores, and the 1962 and 1963 Intercontinental Cup.
He transferred to the New York Cosmos later in his career. One of the prominent figures in the North American Soccer League was Pele. In 64 games for the team, he scored 37 goals, and in 2010 he was elected honorary president.
Guinness World Records has recognized his total of 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which controversially includes friendly.
But Pele will be most remembered for his achievements while wearing the illustrious yellow uniform of Brazil.
He is the only player in history to have won the World Cup three times, making him one of the first really worldwide black sports icons.
The other players looked up to Pele. Michel Platini, a three-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, described him as “a God,” while Cristiano Ronaldo remarked in 2015 that “Pele is the greatest player in football history, and there will only be one Pele.”