The ‘King’ of football ………….Pele is dead

The football world is in mourning today following the passing of the greatest player of all time …….the King of Soccer …Pele!

Brazil legend Pele has died at the age of 82. One of the true legends of football, Pele led his country to three World Cup title wins in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and was widely regarded as one of the best players to ever play the game.

Pele scored an astonishing 77 goals in 92 games for Brazil and averaged almost a goal a game during his club career, which spanned from 1956 to 1977.

He was admitted to hospital three weeks ago in Brazil after his cancer progressed and he “required greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions”.

His daughter Kely Nascimento shared an emotional photo with her father on Saturday saying: “We continue to be here, in fight and in faith. One more night together.”

We will post all the tributes to the great man here below.

Pele’s career in numbers

Following Pele’s death, the PA news agency has taken a look back at his remarkable career record.

3 – the record number of World Cups won by Pele, in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

17 – Pele’s age in the 1958 tournament – he remains the youngest man to play in a World Cup final and to score a World Cup hat-trick.

3 – goals in World Cup finals – two against Sweden in 1958 and one against Italy in 1970.

77 – goals for Brazil, a record that was recently matched by Neymar.

1,281 – Pele’s career goal tally, according to FIFA’s official website. The disputed total includes friendly games.

767 – his goals in official matches, as tracked by the Rec Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. Those goals came in 831 games.

1,089 – goals for his long-time Brazilian club Santos – though again, friendlies are included. The RSSSF lists his competitive record as 643 in 659 games, the most by a player for any one club until surpassed by Lionel Messi’s 672 for Barcelona.

2 – clubs represented in his career – Santos and the New York Cosmos.

6 – Brazilian league titles won with Santos – every year from 1961 to 1965, plus 1968. He added the 1977 North American Soccer League title with the Cosmos.

Hospital statement

A hospital statement read: “The Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein regretfully confirms the death of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele, today, December 29, 2022, at 3:27 pm, due to the failure of multiple organs, a result of the progression of cancer of colon associated with his previous clinical condition.

“Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein sympathizes with the family and everyone who suffers from the loss of our dear King of Football.”

Gary Lineker pays tribute

As expected, many people have taken to social media to pay tribute to Pele.

Gary Lineker tweeted: “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.”


Official statement in full

A statement on Pele’s official Instagram account said: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today.

“On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love.

“His message today becomes a legacy for future generations. Love, love and love, forever.”

Brazilian football legend Pele 

Pele’s cancer battle

Pele had been treated for colon cancer, following surgery to remove a tumour in September 2021, and had required regular medical treatment, After being admitted back into hospital at the end of November to re-evaluate his cancer treatment, he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection before subsequently being moved to palliative care when his body became unresponsive to chemotherapy.

Doctors and nurses at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo duly made him as comfortable as possible, while his wife, Marcia Aoki, remained by his bedside. He sadly passed away on Thursday.

Always remembered

With his success came many 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.

Pele’s legacy

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 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.


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