[PICTURES] Football legend Pele passes away at age 82


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Oct 2, 2004
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Brazilian legend Pelé has passed away at 82, one of the greatest of all time who changed the game.<br><br>A man with a god-given talent, one of the names who will remain forever in the memory.<br><br>All thoughts with the family.<br><br>RIP, legend ��️ <a href="https://t.co/xxndio7gmM">pic.twitter.com/xxndio7gmM</a></p>— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) <a href="https://twitter.com/FabrizioRomano/status/1608538526685229056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 29, 2022</a></blockquote>
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Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.

He is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career, including 77 goals in 92 matches for his country.

The only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970, Pele was named Fifa's Player of the Century in 2000.

He had been suffering with kidney and prostate problems in recent years.

Pele had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon in September 2021 at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, after the tumour was detected in routine tests. He was readmitted to hospital in late November 2022.

His daughter Kely Nascimento has kept fans updated on her father's condition with regular social media updates from hospital.

On Thursday she posted a picture of what appeared to be Pele's family's hands on his body in hospital and wrote: "Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace."

The hospital confirmed that Pele died "due to the failure of multiple organs, a result of the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous clinical condition".

Pele's Twitter account posted: "Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever."

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, became a global star when, aged 17, he helped Brazil win the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, forcing his way into the starting line-up by the knockout stages.

He scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Wales in the quarter-finals, a hat-trick against France in the semi-final and two in a 5-2 triumph over the hosts in the final.

What made Pele great

Scored a reported 1,281 goals in 1,363 games Made 14 appearances at World Cup finals, scoring 12 goals
Racked up 126 goals in 1959 alone Only player to win three World Cups

Pele had made his debut for club side Santos two years earlier at the age of 15, scoring in a 7-1 win over Corinthians de Santo Andre.

It was the first of 643 goals he would score for the club in official competitions over 19 years, although Santos claim the total is more than 1,000 once exhibition matches - often against high-profile European opposition - are taken into account.

At the 1962 World Cup, Pele, then 21, scored a brilliant individual goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico to open their campaign, but was injured in the next match and watched from the sidelines as his team defended their title.

The final part of his trilogy of World Cup wins was his most iconic. After being fouled out of the 1966 tournament in England, he was the fulcrum of a thrilling attacking team that swept to the title in 1970, scoring the opening goal in a 4-1 win over Italy in the final.

From his joyful tears on the chest of team-mate Nilton Santos to his embrace with England captain Bobby Moore, Pele's moments of magic have spanned eras and defined the history of the sport.

He finished his club career as part of a star-studded New York Cosmos side, playing alongside German legend Franz Beckenbauer and fellow 1970 World Cup winner Carlos Alberto.

"In music there is Beethoven and the rest. In football, there is Pele and the rest," he said in 2000.

In a poll conducted by BBC Sport in 2020, Pele was voted the greatest player, ahead of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff.

The only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970, Pele was named Fifa's Player of the Century in 2000.

He had been suffering with kidney and prostate problems in recent years.

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The Bradman of his sport.

He was the only footballer talked about during the 70s/80s in terms of GOAT, before 86 Maradona. Never watched him play, but those who did, say he was the GOAT.

I cannot remember who it was in the footballing world, but when asked to spell Pele, the response was "G-O-D"
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun.

Greatest footballer of all time. 3 world titles.
Malcolm Allison: “How do you spell Pele?”

Pat Crerand: “Easy: G-O-D.”

Television commentators during Mexico 1970.
The first real football Star, and one of the greatest ever.
RIP. Respect from peers and future generations can testify how great he was. True legend.
The Muhammad Ali of the footballing world.

RIP Pele.
Sad day for football fans.

No matter which nationality or culture, Pele was a hero to all football fans.

His legacy is Brazil being the greatest footballing team in history.

RIP, condolences to his family and all of Brazil.
Rest in peace.

One of the GOATs.

Condolences to his family.
Such a shame, 2 of the 3 GOAT's are no longer with us anymore, Pele and Maradona.
Very sad news. He was one of the rare footballers that transcended the game.
I am an Argentina fan but I have to say Pele is the greatest of all time. Pele is better than Maradona and Messi.

I have never seen him live as I wasn't born then. But, his record speaks for himself.
Just heard the news, gutted.

First global superstar of football, an icon, a legend, GOAT in many eyes. The fulcrum of the greatest Brazilian sides that brought so much joy and made people fall in love with football.

There are no words to express how important he was to football and what he meant to the Brazilian people. Today the Brazilian nation mourns as does the football world.

RIP the King of football.
RIP to the legend!

Pele is one the few people everyone has heard of, even if they aren't football fans. Pele's name is synonymous with football and will remain so for generations to come.
Condolences to family, loved ones and all fans. Seeing Pele was ill for a while one felt he was ready to go. Like most here I never witnessed his peak years but from what I hear here from the older generation was the GOAT!
Pele was big across the world , heard his name first time itself as a kid during 1998 wc, every wc he gets mentioned and talked about that’s his legacy.

He was mentioned in old Hindi movie Golmaal as well, I wondered why that was and to find out later that he came to India to play an exhibition game against Mohan Bagan in 1977 with 80k in attendance in Eden Gardens.
Pele was big across the world , heard his name first time itself as a kid during 1998 wc, every wc he gets mentioned and talked about that’s his legacy.

He was mentioned in old Hindi movie Golmaal as well, I wondered why that was and to find out later that he came to India to play an exhibition game against Mohan Bagan in 1977 with 80k in attendance in Eden Gardens.

I come to know that he was called the Black Pearl through that movie.
RIP to the greatest in the game. The sporting world is poorer
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">“I hope we will play soccer together in heaven.” <br><br>Pele’s emotional farewell message to Argentina legend and friend Diego Maradona &#55356;&#56807;&#55356;&#56823;&#55356;&#56806;&#55356;&#56823; <a href="https://t.co/rXm2KyNmNs">pic.twitter.com/rXm2KyNmNs</a></p>— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) <a href="https://twitter.com/SoccerAM/status/1608810604944318465?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 30, 2022</a></blockquote>
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Tributes poured in from across Brazil and beyond Friday for football legend Pele, as the country held three days of mourning for the player widely regarded as the greatest of all time after his death at age 82.

Emotional Brazilians flocked to the Sao Paulo hospital where "O Rei" (The King) died Thursday, and to the Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos, the city where he played most of his career -- and where his wake will be held Monday.

That will be followed on Tuesday by what is expected to be a massive funeral procession through the southeastern city, then a private burial ceremony.

President Jair Bolsonaro declared three days of national mourning through Saturday, as condolences flooded in from football superstars, global dignitaries and fans from all walks of life.

In Pele's hometown, the southeastern city of Tres Coracoes, house painter Marcelo Cazone proudly brandished an autographed picture of himself as a boy with Pele, which he snagged by cutting school to follow his idol around the city in the 1980s.

"I treasure it to this day," he told AFP. "His death is devastating for this whole town, for all of Brazil, for the entire world."

In Santos, 46-year-old Caroline Fornari was among those who flocked to the stadium where Pele first dazzled the world.

"He's part of our history. My father was a huge fan, he talked about him from the time I was little. Pele is our greatest pride," she said of the three-time World Cup winner -- the only player in history to achieve the feat.

The football world also paid emotional tribute to the man who both transformed the sport and transcended it.

Brazil star Neymar said Pele made football "into an art." France's Kylian Mbappe said his legacy "will never be forgotten," and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo called him an "inspiration to millions."

Argentina's World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi simply wrote: "Rest in peace."

The Italian football federation announced a minute of silence before upcoming matches in Pele's memory, while both the English Premier League and France's Ligue 1 said games would be preceded by a minute's applause.

In a testament to Pele's influence, international figures including US President Joe Biden and former leader Barack Obama, Brazilian music legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and FIFA President Gianni Infantino also paid tribute.

Born on October 23, 1940 in Tres Coracoes, Edson Arantes do Nascimento grew up selling peanuts on the street to help his impoverished family.

He was given the nickname Pele, for his mispronunciation of Bile, the name of a goalkeeper at Vasco de Sao Lourenco, where his footballer father once played.

Pele exploded onto the scene at age 15, when he started playing professionally with Santos. He led the club to a flurry of titles, including back-to-back Intercontinental Cups in 1962-1963.

At just 17, he helped Brazil to its first World Cup championship, in 1958.

That was followed by World Cup titles in 1962 and 1970. The latter marked the pinnacle of his career, as he starred on what many consider the greatest team of all time, alongside talents such as Rivellino, Tostao and Jairzinho.

Pele scored a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches during his more than two decades playing with Santos (1956-74), the Brazilian national team, and the New York Cosmos (1975-77).

But beyond the many benchmarks he set, he will be remembered for revolutionizing football, his number 10 on the back of Brazil's yellow shirt one of the most powerful images of the "beautiful game."

The first global football star, he played a key role in making the game a sporting and commercial powerhouse -- and made millions himself.

Sports royalty

He was often welcomed like royalty when traveling abroad. Legend has it that his arrival in Nigeria in 1969 prompted a 48-hour truce in the bloody Biafra war.

His influence extended beyond the pitch, with gigs as a movie star, singer and sports minister.

But he faced criticism at times in Brazil for remaining quiet on social issues and racism, and for what some saw as his haughty, vain personality.

Unlike Argentine rebel Diego Maradona, one of his rivals for the title of greatest of all time, Pele was seen as close to those in power -- including Brazil's 1964-1985 military regime.

Pele had been in increasingly fragile health in recent years, battling kidney problems and colon cancer -- undergoing surgery for the latter in September 2021, followed by chemotherapy.

His public appearances grew increasingly rare, and he frequently used a wheelchair.

But Pele remained active on social media even as his health failed, cheering on Brazil during the World Cup in Qatar and consoling the pre-tournament favorites when they were eliminated in the quarter-finals -- just three weeks before his death.

The flags of all nations were lowered to half-mast at the headquarters of world football's governing body FIFA on Friday, in honor of the game's "eternal king."

<b>'Thank you, King': Brazil lights up in honour of Pelé</b>

Brazil has woken up to its first day without footballing legend Pelé.

"The King", who won three World Cups and was widely considered the greatest footballer of all time, died at the age of 82 in São Paulo on Thursday.

Overnight, Pelé's face shone on buildings across the South American nation and landmarks were lit up in his memory. Fans took to the streets dressed in his iconic number 10 shirt.

Brazil's government has declared three days of national mourning.

The front pages in Brazil were all talking about Pelé on Friday. One read "Pelé died, if indeed Pelé can die", because for Brazilians, he is their eternal King.

The last time national mourning was declared was when Queen Elizabeth II died. Lots of parallels have been drawn between Pelé and royalty - he was the closest Brazil had.

Supporters started gathering outside São Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital the previous afternoon when they heard news of Pele's death.
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Premier League and English Football League clubs wore black armbands and held a minute's applause before kick-off in Friday's games in honour of Brazil legend Pele.

The Scottish Professional Football League has also suggested all clubs pay their respects with a minute's applause or "other appropriate gesture".

Three-time World Cup winner Pele passed away on Thursday at the age of 82.

Brazil has declared three days of national mourning as tributes pour in.

The Premier League tributes began at West Ham v Brentford, with the iconic image of Pele embracing Bobby Moore shown on the big screen at London Stadium.

In the later kick-off, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Jordan Henderson placed flowers on the centre circle at Anfield before the side's match against Leicester.

All 10 Premier League games over the weekend will hold similar tributes.

Fifa will ask every country in the world to name a stadium in honour of Pelé, its president, Gianni Infantino, said on Monday.

Pelé, the Brazil great who won the World Cup three times and scored more than 1,000 goals, died last Thursday aged 82.

Infantino, who is in Brazil for Pelé’s funeral, told local reporters: “We’re going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pelé.”

In April 2021 Rio de Janeiro abandoned plans to name the famous Maracanã stadium after Pelé after it was vetoed by the state governor.

Pelé’s coffin was placed inside the Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos on Monday, the home ground of the club where he spent virtually his entire career.

Thousands of mourners have gathered to pay their respects to Brazil legend Pele who is lying in state at the ground of his former club Santos.

Pele's coffin was placed in the centre of the pitch at the Urbano Caldeira stadium in Sao Paulo, with fans filling the stands and lining the streets.

The three-time World Cup winner died at the age of 82 on 29 December.

There will be a procession through the streets of Santos to a private family burial on Tuesday.

Brazil's government declared three days of national mourning after Pele's death.

Pele, arguably the world's greatest ever player, had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer since 2021.

"We're going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pele," said Fifa President Gianni Infantino, who attended the memorial.

Thousands of fans gathered on the streets as the hearse arrived at the stadium on Monday morning, with some queuing overnight to see the coffin.

"We are talking about a global icon, so this is going to be a huge global occasion," South American football journalist Tim Vickery told BBC 5 Live.

"Pele is a source of huge pride for Brazil. He is not from Santos but it is a city that he made his home, and he is theirs - but he also belongs to the world."

Brazilian journalist Ricardo Seyton, who worked closely with Pele during his career, said it was going to be an "intense" day.

"It is the people of the streets, the public, who are making this day so beautiful," he told BBC 5 Live.

"It is amazing to see people in football shirts from all around the world - that is the legend of Pele."

Thousands of mourners queued through the night to pay respects to Brazil legend Pele, who is lying in state at the stadium of his former club Santos.

Pele's coffin is in the centre of the pitch at the Urbano Caldeira stadium in Sao Paulo, and fans have lined the streets to get into the ground.

There will be a procession through the streets of Santos from 12:00 GMT, before a private family burial.

Pele - a three-time World Cup winner - died at the age of 82 on 29 December.

Arguably the world's greatest ever footballer, he had been receiving treatment for colon cancer since 2021.

Brazil's government declared three days of national mourning after his death, and the country's new president - Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva - will travel to Santos to pay his respects as the 24-hour vigil draws to a close.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino attended the memorial on Monday, and said: "We're going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pele."


Funeral procession for Pelé begins after thousands, including Brazil’s president Lula da Silva, visited 24-hour wake

A funeral procession which will take soccer great Pelé to his final resting place has begun Tuesday.

The procession started at the Urbano Caldeira Stadium, home of Pelé’s former club Santos, and his coffin will be carried through the streets of the city of Santos, including passing down the street where Pelé’s 100-year-old mother, Celeste Arantes, lives.

It will continue to the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica cemetery, where a private funeral will be held for family members.

The three-time World Cup winner died on Thursday at the age of 82 from multiple organ failure due to the progression of colon cancer.

Tributes from around the world have poured in ever since, with people of all ages flocking to his 24-hour public wake, which began on Monday at Santos’ 16,000-seater stadium, popularly known as “Vila Belmiro.”

More than 230,000 people, many wearing Brazil’s iconic yellow jersey, had attended the wake, according to Santos.

The doors to the stadium closed with thousands of mourners still in line and people were turned away, according to CNN teams on the ground.

Thousands have lined the streets, waving flags and applauding as the Brazilian’s coffin passed by.

Pelé’s sister, Lucia, was seen tearfully waving from a balcony at crowds who had gathered outside her mother’s house.

Lula da Silva visits

Brazilian president Lula da Silva arrived at the wake on Tuesday morning with police security “very much” reinforced to accommodate the President’s presence, Santos told CNN.

“Pele is incomparable, as a soccer player and as a human being,” Lula said Tuesday, per Reuters.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino also traveled to Brazil to pay his respects on Monday.

“Pelé is eternal,” Infantino told reporters, per Reuters. “FIFA will certainly honor the ‘king’ as he deserves.

“We have asked all football associations in the world to pay a minute of silence before every game and will also ask them, 211 countries, to name a stadium after Pelé. Future generations must know and remember who Pelé was.”
(Original Caption) Miami, Florida: Head and shoulders portrait of the New York Cosmos soccer sensation Pele standing on the field in New York Cosmos uniform. The crowd can be seen in the background.

For more than 60 years, the name Pelé has been synonymous with football. He played in four World Cups and is the only player in history to win three, but his legacy stretched far beyond his trophy haul and remarkable goalscoring record.

“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint,” Pelé famously said.

Pelé, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in history and Brazil held three days of national mourning following his death.

Some pictures from the funeral procession



Could Wembley be renamed as "Pele Stadium"?
Cape Verde's national stadium is to be renamed after Pele, the country's prime minister has said.

The 15,000-seater Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde, located just outside the capital Praia, will become the Pele Stadium.

The news comes after Fifa's president Gianna Infantino proposed - while speaking at Pele's memorial service in Brazil - that every country should name a stadium after the footballing legend who died on 29 December, aged 82.

"As a tribute and recognition to this figure that makes us all great, I manifest the intention of naming our national stadium as "Pele Stadium", in an initiative that, I believe, will be followed by several countries around the world," Ulisses Correira e Silva wrote on Facebook.

"With the physical disappearance of Edson Arantes de Nascimento, King Pele, who soon became a planetary figure, an icon of the masses showing that sport has the power to unite the world, it is now our wish to pay tribute to him," added Mr Silva in a statement that stressed the importance of Pele to Portuguese-speaking countries like Cape Verde.

"Cape Verde and Brazil have a history and culture that go hand in hand, considering they are two sister countries, linked by language and very similar identities.

"Pele was and always will be a reference in Brazil, in our Portuguese-speaking countries and in the rest of the world, being an idol that links several generations."


A mausoleum built for the golden coffin of Pele has opened for visitors more than five months after the Brazilian football legend died of colon cancer.

The mausoleum, located on the second floor of a high-rise cemetery in Santos, outside Sao Paulo, opened on Monday and welcomes visitors with two golden statues of Pele and an artificial grass turf.

Its walls feature images of fans in a stadium with an endless soundtrack of cheers playing in the background.

Considered one of – if not the – greatest football player of all time, Pele was laid to rest in January after a funeral that saw hundreds of thousands of people come to Santos to pay their respects, including Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

“This was made with a lot of love by people who knew him, who lived with him. It has the essence of what he was,” Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, one of Pele’s sons, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency after a small ceremony with family and friends.

Pele, who was known as “The King”, is the only player to win the World Cup three times. He lifted the coveted trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

​​In 2000, the world football governing body, FIFA, named him player of the century jointly with Argentina’s Diego Maradona, who died in 2020.

The International Olympic Committee also declared Pele “athlete of the century” in 1999.

After retiring in 1977, Pele served as “champion for sport” for the United Nations cultural organisation, UNESCO, helping promote physical education across the world. He also supported UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, as a goodwill ambassador.

He died on December 29 at the age of 82 after a long battle with cancer. The mausoleum was planned by the owner of the cemetery, Pepe Alstut, who died in 2018.

Alstut hoped the mausoleum would be on the ninth floor, overseeing the Santos club’s Vila Belmiro Stadium, where Pele starred for 18 years. The player’s family, instead, buried him on the second floor so fans could have better access.

“I am shaking. The energy of this place is surreal,” Erica Nascimento, a tearful 42-year-old economist, told AP.

Former footballer Roberto Milano, 56, was also moved.

“He is part of my life,” Milano said. “As we grow old, we need to follow the best role models. Maybe he was the biggest of them all.”

Last month, a Brazilian dictionary added “Pele” as an adjective describing someone who is “exceptional, incomparable, unique”.

The announcement by the Michaelis dictionary was part of a campaign that gathered more than 125,000 signatures to honour the late footballer.