Brazilian football legend Pelé dies at 82


Syahindah Ishak | December 30, 2022, 07:14 AM

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Brazilian football legend Pelé has died on Thursday (Dec. 29). He was 82 years old.

His daughter, Kely Nascimento, posted a picture on Instagram of what appeared to be Pele's family's hands on his body along with the caption: "Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace."

Had multiple health conditions prior to his death

Pelé, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was hospitalised for the last month due to multiple ailments.

He had colon cancer since September 2021, and doctors were re-evaluating his treatment.

Pelé had also been suffering with kidney and prostate issues the past few years.

According to The New York Times, Pelé died at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in São Paulo, Brazil.

The cause of death was multiple organ failure, the result of the progression of colon cancer.

His legacy

Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Pelé was hailed as a national hero in Brazil for his talent and accomplishments in football, as well as his advocacy for improving the social conditions of the lower-class.

Pelé started his professional football career in 1956, at the age of 15, playing for Brazil club Santos.

As a forward, he was a prolific goalscorer who was able to score with both feet.

He scored 643 goals in 665 competitive games in 19 seasons for Santos.

He left the club in 1974 after winning six Brazilian league titles and two Copa Libertadores crowns, which is South America's equivalent of the Champions League.

When he was only 16, he made it into Brazil's national team and till today, is the only football player to have won three FIFA World Cups — in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

He is still the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals.

He scored 1,283 goals in his 21-year career.

He retired from football in 1977, but remained an inspirational figure for many around the world.

Pelé continued to receive several accolades even in his retirement, such as the 'Athlete of the Century' by the International Olympic Committee in 1999.

In 1994, Pelé was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and the year after, he was appointed the position of Extraordinary Minister for Sport in Brazil.

Top images from FIFA World Cup/FB & Pelé/Twitter.