Brazilian legend Pele has died aged 82.One of the greatest players of all time, Pele is Brazil’s joint top scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.
He is the only player to have won three World Cups and was named FIFA’s Player of the Century in 2000
The former Santos forward was hospitalised on November 29 with complications related to colon cancer, and the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein said on December 28 that his cancer had advanced and that he required care for renal and cardiac dysfunctions.
Fears grew for Pele’s health when news broke that his son Edinho had travelled from Londrina, which is 540km east of Sao Paulo, to join two of Pele’s daughters, Kely Nascimento and Flavia Arantes do Nascimento, by his bedside.
The news of Pele’s death was confirmed with a statement on his Instagram page.
“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.”
Pele’s daughter Kely also posted a picture on Instagram of what appeared to be Pele’s family’s hands on his body in hospital along with the caption: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Pele was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940.
He began his playing career aged 15 with Santos and made his Brazil debut at 16.
He appeared at four World Cups, winning three – in 1958, 1962 and 1970 – and is Brazil’s joint top scorer alongside Neymar.
For Santos, he scored 643 goals in 659 games, leading the club to success in the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup, in 1962 and 1963. He also collected 10 Paulista titles and won the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A on six occasions