At age 82, Brazilian soccer great Pelé passes away.

Advertisements

After a battle with colon cancer, Pelé, a soccer icon who motivated a nation on and off the field, passed away on Thursday. He was 82.

Advertisements

In September 2021, a tumor was removed from Pelé, who has received chemotherapy since. His daughter claimed he was hospitalized in late November to manage his medicines. But in recent weeks, his condition deteriorated, and a few days later, he was placed in palliative care.

Advertisements

Following that, he was given “elevated care” last week because of “kidney and heart dysfunctions,” according to a statement from the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo. His agent informed The Associated Press of his passing.

Pelé, a member of three World Cup-winning Brazilian teams, is recognized as the greatest soccer player of all time and is frequently credited with coining the phrase “the beautiful game” to characterize the game.
Born in Tres Coracoes, Brazil, Edson Arantes do Nascimiento spent his formative years in the impoverished town of Bauru in Sao Paulo. His father was a failing soccer player. Although his parents chose to omit the “I” and call him Edson, he was given the name Thomas Edison in honor of the American inventor. His relatives dubbed him “Dico.”

However, it was Pelé’s nick moniker that made him famous.

Its beginning is unknown; Pelé admitted he had no idea how it started. According to urban lore, his schoolmates gave it to him after they heard him mispronounce the name of his favorite soccer player, goalie Bile of Vasco da Gama.
While promoting “Pele: Birth of a Legend,” a movie of his early years, he admitted to Fox News Latino in 2016 that he didn’t enjoy the moniker as a little boy but later grew to love it as admirers all over the world began repeating it more and more.

Pelé claimed at the time, “I could not change it.
As a young child, Pelé started playing soccer and frequently used a grapefruit or a sock filled with newspaper and connected with a string. He participated in some amateur teams and even helped the local junior Bauru Athletic Club squad win two Sao Paulo state juvenile championships.

Pelé’s parents were persuaded to let the burgeoning sensation try out for the Santos professional club when he was 15 years old, his youth coach, Waldemar de Brito, a former Brazilian national soccer team player.
After being signed, the teenager started having an effect. Before he reached 16, he scored his first professional goal. He scored the most goals in the Brazilian soccer league in his first complete season.

The 1958 World Cup in Sweden served as the phenom’s official debut to the world. The 17-year-old Pelé, who had exceptional speed, athleticism, and field vision, scored three goals in a 5-2 semifinal victory over France before scoring two more goals in a 5-2 championship victory over the host nation.
The teenage superstar has later designated a national treasure by the country’s president at the time, Janio Quadros, which made it more difficult for him to play lawfully abroad. Pelé nevertheless continued to participate in lucrative exhibition games with teams worldwide.
At the 1962 World Cup in Chile and the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Pelé helped Brazil win two additional World Cup trophies. Despite just playing three games, Brazil was eliminated in the first round of the 1966 World Cup in England.
The reputation of Pelé grew over time to the point where, in the late 1960s, it is said that the two sides in the Nigerian Civil War agreed to a 48-hour truce so they could watch Pele play in an exhibition match in Lagos.

Ronald Reagan, a former American president, characterized Pelé’s fame when the soccer player paid him a visit at the White House: “I’m the president of the United States of America, and my name is Ronald Reagan. But there’s no need for an introduction because everyone is familiar with Pelé.”
After taking a temporary break from the game, Pelé continued to play with the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.
In an exhibition match between New York and Santos in October 1977, he participated in both teams. In 1,363 games, he scored 1,281 goals overall before retiring.
In World Cup history, Pelé held the marks for being the youngest player to play in a championship game, the youngest goal scorer, and the youngest player to score a hat trick.

For his involvement with UNICEF, Pelé received the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1999, FIFA honored Pelé and fellow Argentine Diego Maradona as “Co-Players of the Century.”

He is survived by Marcia Aoki, his third wife, six children from different marriages, and some grandchildren.

Advertisements

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here