Brazilian Pele, the legend of world football and the genius striker who revolutionized the world of football, died on Thursday at the age of 82, according to what his family announced.
And the daughter of the “king” Kelly Nascimento wrote on Instagram from Albert Einstein Hospital, where Pele was being treated for cancer a month ago, “We thank you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Pele, the only player to win the World Cup three times (1958, 1962 and 1970), was chosen as the best athlete of the last century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999, and a year later as the best player in the same century by FIFA.
His death came as a shock to football fans around the world, days after the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, when Brazil was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Croatia on penalties.
“Bring the cup home!” Pele’s official account was posted on social media, on the day of Brazil’s first match against Serbia (2-0).
Pele lost his last battle with colon cancer discovered in September 2021 during routine check-ups Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, this lethal dribbler who contributed to the birth of “samba ball” is considered a “national treasure” in Brazil.
He scored an unprecedented abundance: 1281 goals in 1363 matches under the colors of Santos Club (1956-1974), the national team “Seleção” and the American Cosmos of New York (1975-1977). His sport, with the eternal No. 10 on the back.
Pele was a pioneer in modern football, with exceptional technique combined with unparalleled athleticism despite his modest stature (1.72m).
His majesty notwithstanding, Pele was emotional, as evidenced by unforgettable black-and-white scenes of the 17-year-old winning his first world title in 1958 in Sweden.
And in a promise he made to his father, eight years after he saw him cry while listening on the radio to the famous “Maracanazo” loss to Uruguay, which deprived Brazil of its first world titles in 1950 at home.
In 1970, during the first live broadcast of the World Cup in color, Pele celebrated with a bright smile at the height of his career, his third world title, when he was in the golden squad considered the most talented in history to include the likes of Rivelino, Tostao and Garzinho.