Pelé Ronaldo

Pelé in his Santos jersey in 1971. Photo by – / AFP)

Brazilian great Pelé dies aged 82

Brazilian great Pelé, the only three-time World Cup winner in history, has died aged 82.

Pelé Ronaldo

Pelé in his Santos jersey in 1971. Photo by – / AFP)

Brazilian football icon Pelé has died at the age of 82, his agent has confirmed.

All-time great Pelé leaves a lasting legacy

Pelé is Brazil’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 77 strikes for the Seleção (level with Neymar) from 92 caps. Pelé is also the only player in history to win three World Cup titles.

Tributes for Pelé will stream in from all corners of the globe. Image: @espnfc / Twitter

Pelé widely regarded as one of the all-time greats of the sport

Pelé’s distinguished and iconic career is a constant reference point against which the modern greats are measured. When there’s a GOAT conversation involving Ronaldo, Messi and Maradona, Pelé has always been there. He represented Santos in his native Brazil and then New York Cosmos in the USA during a distinguished 21-year club career.

The standard-bearer of “the beautiful game” had undergone treatment for colon cancer since 2021. He had been hospitalized for the last month with multiple ailments, and his agent Joe Fraga confirmed his death on Thursday evening.

Pelé introduced himself to the world aged 17 at the 1958 showpiece in Sweden where he was carried off the field by teammates on their shoulders after scoring a brace in Brazil’s 5-2 victory over the hosts in the final.

Pele in 1977. Photo by Georges BIANNIC / AFP)

Brazil retained the world title in 1962 even though Pelé was limited to just two matches because of injury, but he was central to their success in 1970 in Mexico. He scored in the final and set up Carlos Alberto for the clinching goal in a 4-1 win over Italy that year.

His daughter Kely Nascimento paid tribute to her father: “We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”

Rest in Peace, Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

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