Brazil World Cup icon Pele dies aged 82, family announces

Pele Credit: Alamy
Pele Credit: Alamy

Brazil legend Pele has died at the age of 82, his family has sadly announced.

The three-time World Cup winner, who had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021, was admitted to the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo on November 29. Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram: “We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”

Nascimento, who had posted before Christmas that members of Pele’s family would spend the holiday period in the hospital with him, added three heartbroken emojis.

Pele burst on to the global scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes.

Injury affected Pele’s contribution to the 1962 and 1966 finals, but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970.

Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977, although club Santos claim his tally was closer to 1,000.

Santos responded to news of Pele’s death by tweeting a picture of a crown and the word ‘Eterno’ (‘Eternal).

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.”

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.”

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