Pele, a three-time World Cup winner from Brazil, has died at the age of 82.

Pele had colon cancer and required regular medical treatment after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in September 2021.

He was diagnosed with a respiratory infection after being admitted back to the hospital at the end of November to re-evaluate his cancer treatment and was later moved to palliative care when his body became unresponsive to chemotherapy.

Pele died on Thursday at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, and his daughter, Kely Nascimento, confirmed the news on Instagram, writing: "Everything we are is because of you. We adore you infinitely. "May you rest in peace."


Edson Arantes do Nascimento — Pele's real name — was born on October 23, 1940, in the southeastern city of Tres Coracoes. He grew up selling peanuts on the street to help his impoverished family get by.

His parents named him after the well-known American inventor Thomas Edison.

But he quickly earned the nickname Pele for mispronouncing Bile, the name of a goalkeeper at Vasco de Sao Lourenco, where his footballer father once played.

Pele wowed audiences from the time he was 15 and began playing professionally for Santos. He led the club to a string of titles, including back-to-back Intercontinental Cup victories over Benfica in 1962 and AC Milan in 1963.

He epitomized the sublime style of play known as "samba football" in Brazil, where he was declared a "national treasure" for his skill with the ball.

In 1,363 games for Santos (1956-74), the Brazilian national team, and the New York Cosmos, he set an all-time record with 1,281 goals (1975-77).

But, more than his records, he will be remembered for helping to revolutionize the sport, with his ever-present number 10 on his back.

He was the first global football star, and he played a key role in the game's transformation into a sporting and commercial powerhouse, despite his small stature (1.70 meters) (just under five-foot-seven).

He also played with heart, as evidenced by the iconic black-and-white footage of the 17-year-old phenom sobbing after helping Brazil win its first World Cup in 1958.

Eight years before, after witnessing his father cry as Brazil lost the 1950 World Cup final at home to Uruguay, he promised to bring the trophy home one day.

Pele was at the peak of his greatness during the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, the first to be broadcast in color, where he was a member of what many consider to be the greatest team of all time, including Rivellino, Tostao, and Jairzinho.

When traveling abroad with Santos or the national team, he was frequently treated like royalty. According to legend, his arrival in Nigeria in 1969 triggered a 48-hour truce in the bloody Biafra war.

Pele turned down offers to play in Europe, but at the end of his career, he signed for a brief, lucrative swan song with the Cosmos, bringing his star power to the land of "soccer."

Pele's public appearances had become increasingly rare, and he was often accompanied by a walker or wheelchair.

He was hospitalized several times for urinary infections, then again in 2021 and 2022 for the colon cancer that would eventually kill him.

But he dealt with his health issues with his trademark levity.

Rest in Peace, LEGEND

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