Brazil legend Pele died on Thursday of complications from cancer.
Hailed by many as the greatest player in football history, Pele has struggled with health issues in recent years. He was pictured in a wheelchair at the 2018 World Cup and was taken to hospital after collapsing from exhaustion a month after the tournament.
He had been under treatment by doctors since undergoing surgery to remove a colon tumor in September 2021, but was readmitted to hospital in late 2022. His condition did not improve and Pele remained in hospital in Sao Paulo. As his family confirmed, during the 2022 World Cup and again for Christmas.
Before his death was confirmed on December 29, Pele’s daughter Kelly Nescacimento had been providing regular updates on her father throughout the month as the world learned of his failing health.
Pelé started his career for Santos in 1956, turning the game around. The Brazilian striker would go on to revolutionize football for the next 21 years with his style of play and prolific scoring, and carry on a legacy as one of the most talented players to ever grace a pitch and style. No one had seen to bring forward.
The 17-year-old Pele first announced himself in spectacular fashion at the 1958 World Cup, leading Brazil to victory with the number 10 on his back, while displaying a catalog of skills never seen before. appeared, earning the nickname O Rei. (King) for his exploits. After scoring a hat-trick in the semi-final against France, he scored twice in the final against Sweden, and he returned to Mexico in 1962 and was named the best player in the world.
At club level, Pele won six Brazilian titles and two Copa Libertadores crowns in an illustrious 18-year spell with Brazil side Santos. He then spent his final two years as a player in the fledgling NASL with the New York Cosmos, serving as a worldwide ambassador for most of his post-retirement years.
He retired after winning three World Cups – currently the only player to do so – and was Brazil’s top scorer with 77 goals in 92 caps. During his illustrious career, including friendlies and international tours, Pele reportedly scored more than 1,200 goals, while inspiring the next generation of football with his undeniable talent and ability that is timeless. He was ahead.