One of the biggest stars in Brazilian soccer, Edson Arantes do Nascimentobetter known as Peledied this Thursday at the age of 82, after spending a month hospitalized at the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo.
Pele’s daughter confirmed the death on her Instagram account. “All that we are is because of you. We love you infinitely,” she wrote in the post.
The “King” underwent surgery in 2021 to remove colon cancer and had suffered from health problems in recent years, which also led him to undergo hip surgery and walk with assistance. Since then she had reduced her public appearances and the channel of communication with his followers was his Instagram account of him.
Pelé is the only footballer to have won three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).
With sublime skills and a captivating smile, he helped make soccer the most popular sport in the world and has captivated popes, presidents and Hollywood stars in a career spanning seven decades.
legendary track record
Born on October 23, 1940 in the small mining town of Tres Corações, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was taught football by his father, a semi-professional footballer whose promising career was cut short by a knee injury.
Pelé joined Santos aged just 15 and built the club into one of the most famous brands in the world in the 1960s.
During a brilliant 18-year spell at the club, he won every possible Brazilian footballing honor, as well as two Copa Libertadores and two Intercontinental Cups.
His talent was soon recognized by the national team and he was chosen for Brazil’s squad ahead of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.
A team psychologist called 17-year-old Pele “obviously childish” and advised against his call-up. But the striker scored a hat-trick in the semi-final against France and two more in the final against hosts Sweden to help Brazil win the World Cup for the first time.
After having little participation in the 1962 and 1966 World Cups due to various injuries, Pelé reached the 1970 Mexico Cup at the age of 29 and led the team to a third title win with a team that included other stars like Carlos Alberto Torres and Tostão, in what is considered by many to be the best formation in history.
“I said to myself before the match, ‘he’s made of skin and bones like everyone else.’ But I was wrong,” she said. Tarcisio Burgnichthe Italian defender in charge of marking Pelé in the final.
Pelé retired from the national team soon after, leaving Santos in 1974.
But finding that ill-advised investments had left him bankrupt, he accepted an offer the following year to come out of retirement and play for the New York Cosmos for the then staggering sum of about a million dollars a year.
Pele’s charisma dazzled even the most seasoned New Yorkers. He has dated celebrities and once shared a table at the famed Studio 54 nightclub with Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart Y Andy Warholwho said the Brazilian was the exception to the saying that everyone only gets “15 minutes of fame.”
Even in an environment full of excesses, Pele stayed away from alcohol and drugs, saying he needed to protect his body and serve as a role model for children.
However, he admitted to other “weaknesses”. Her two divorces, numerous affairs, and the two children she has admitted to fathering out of wedlock have fueled the perception of a rift between the squeaky clean corporate publicist and the elusive real-life person who preferred to be called Edson.
On the field, Pelé guided the Cosmos to championship victory in 1977 and attracted millions of fans to a sport that previously seemed inaccessible and European in the United States.
Years later, when the United States won the right to host the 1994 World Cup, the president of the local organization said that Pele was the “most important” reason for that result.
Pele scored 1,281 goals in 1,366 games, according to the FIFA website, at an astonishing rate of 0.94 goals per game. But many were in friendlies or matches played as part of their military service. The ‘King’ has been equally prolific in official tournaments, with 757 goals in 812 games.
Pele is survived by six children. A seventh, who it took him years to recognize as his, died of cancer in 2006.