On October 23, 1940, he was given the name Edson Arantes do Nascimento; nonetheless, he quickly became known by the one word that is known all over the world: Pelé.
Pelé, a legendary Brazilian soccer player who won a record-tying three World Cups, passed away on Thursday at the age of 82 at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, where he had been receiving treatment since the end of November.
His daughter, Kely Nascimento, posted on Instagram, saying, “We love you forever. Rest in peace.” His agent, Joe Fraga, confirmed his death to the Associated Press.
To cure a respiratory illness that COVID-19 had made worse, Pelé was admitted to the hospital on November 29. After having a colon tumor removed in September 2021, the soccer great also underwent treatment. According to medical professionals, he passed away due to cancer-related multiple organ failure.
Forever, the word “greatness” will be associated with the Brazilian. In the course of a brilliant 22-year career that cemented his status as the best player to ever play the game, he won three World Cups, is regarded as one of the all-time great goal scorers and shared the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award with Maradona.
However, statistics, honors, or trophies cannot adequately capture Pelé’s contribution to the sport. Simply put, he transcended soccer and became the sport’s first true global celebrity, with a degree of recognition that persisted for almost 40 years after his playing career was over as it did then.
The world was altered by Pelé. Brazilian star Neymar remarked on Instagram that “he turned football into art and pleasure. Thanks to the King, Brazil, and football, things improved! Despite his disappearance, his power will live on. Pelé will always be!”
His silky abilities and innate creative drive helped soccer emerge from a fairly gloomy period in which defensiveness and tactical stifling had been the norm. He was beloved for his upbeat disposition and for adding a degree of fun and delight to the beautiful game. Modern legends like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the spiritual and philosophical heirs of Pelé, who always dared to take risks and had the raw talent to pull them off. He demonstrated the power of quick footwork and deft ball control, proving that skill could overcome strength and that the game’s most lethal but beautiful weapon was creative movement and deft thought.
World Cup superstar Pelé: When Pelé was 17 years old, the 1958 World Cup provided the first opportunity for a global audience to see him. Pelé was added to the team for the
tournament’s later rounds after pressure from senior members of the Brazil team forced the coaching staff’s hand. Pelé then dominated.
His performance in the championship match was outstanding. He scored twice in a 5-2 triumph over the host nation Sweden, including a flick over a defender and a fierce volley that is still regarded as one of the best goals in World Cup history. It was arrogant, cunning, and ideal, and it enabled Brazil to win the World Cup for the first time—the only time a South American side has done it on a European platform.
International defenders rapidly determined that Pelé could only be stopped by being kicked once the appropriate warning was issued to the world. He was the most obvious target because skilled players had significantly less protection in soccer back then, and he was also the most dangerous attacker in the world. Injury derailed his two subsequent World Cup campaigns. Even though he had a limited role, Brazil was nevertheless able to defend its championship in 1962. However, in 1966, Pelé’s physical problems prevented him from playing to his full potential, and Brazil was eliminated from the group stage.
On the largest platform of them all, he could have saved his best for last. Perhaps the greatest World Cup victory in history was achieved by Brazil in 1970 in Mexico, with a stellar squad captained by the biggest star on earth.
Even though he was 29 years old and physically deteriorating, Pelé still destroyed the competition. Brazil won all six of its games, including the championship game, in which it defeated Italy 4-1.
The total number of goals Pelé scored: According to several sources, Pelé scored 1,283 goals in all of his professional games, including official and unofficial ones. With 1,279 goals scored, he holds the record for most goals scored in a single season in the Guinness Book of World Records. That includes being the all-time leading scorer for Brazilian club Santos with 643 goals in official matches, according to the club, and 77 international goals, tied with Neymar, according to FIFA.
The fact is that Pelé was designated a “national treasure” by the country’s authorities, which prevented him from being sold overseas, contributing to the fact that he spent almost his entire career at Santos despite attempts by major European teams to sign him. In his later years of soccer, he was persuaded to join the New York Cosmos of the embryonic North American Soccer League, where he spent three seasons playing in front of raucous audiences at the Meadowlands.
Before American soccer’s initial boom faded out into nothing more than bankruptcy, he helped other foreigners, like Giorgio Chinaglia, turn the Cosmos into the most sought-after ticket in New York for a while.
Soccer history includes Pelé’s legacy: Later in life, Pelé turned to business and worked as a spokesperson for several organizations, profiting from his fame to generate a steady income.
The persistent promotion of one of Brazil’s most well-known sons for a variety of commercial purposes was viewed as rather unedifying by some in his own country, but if nothing else, the endorsements helped keep him in the public eye well into his 70s, long after he had retired from playing football.
People who met Pelé frequently discovered two surprises. One was his warm nature, which was real and unfeigned. His 5-foot-8 height and lack of excessive muscle mass were the other factors. Considering his attitude, skills, and influence on the history of his sport, soccer will always remember him as a giant.
One of soccer’s timeless tales is the legend of Pelé.