Brazil legend Pele died on Thursday from cancer complications.
Pelé was a famous soccer player from Brazil who was known for being very good at the sport. He played for a long time and was considered by many to be the best player ever. However, he had health problems in recent years, including cancer, and needed to go to the hospital for treatment. He had surgery to remove a tumor from his colon and continued to receive treatment from doctors. Despite this, his condition did not improve and he remained in the hospital for a long time. Pelé’s daughter provided updates about his health and eventually it was confirmed that he had died. Pelé played for a Brazilian team called Santos and won many championships with them. He also played for the Brazilian national team and won the World Cup three times. He scored a lot of goals during his career and was admired by many people for his talent and style of play.
He had been receiving regular treatment from doctors ever since undergoing surgery to have a tumour on his colon removed in September 2021, but had been readmitted to hospital towards the end of 2022. His condition failed to improve, with Pele remaining in hospital in Sao Paulo throughout the 2022 World Cup and then for Christmas, as his family confirmed.
Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, had been providing regular updates on her father throughout the month with the world learning of his ill health, before his death was confirmed on December 29.
Pele made his debut for Santos in 1956 in what was the start of a career that would turn the game on its head. The Brazilian forward would revolutionise football with his style of play and rampant goal-scoring over the next 21 years, forging a legacy as one of the most talented players to ever grace a pitch and bringing forward a style that nobody had ever seen before.
17-year-old Pele initially announced himself in spectacular style at the 1958 World Cup, firing Brazil to the trophy with the No.10 on his back while showing off a catalogue of skills that had never been seen before, earning the nickname O Rei (The King) for his exploits. A hat-trick in the semi-final vs France was followed up by a brace in the final against Sweden, and he returned for Mexico 1962 as undoubtedly the greatest player in the world.
At club level, a mammoth 18-year spell with Brazilian side Santos saw Pele win six Brazilian titles and two Copa Libertadores crowns. He then spent his final two years as a player in the booming NASL with the New York Cosmos, and in the bulk of his years after retirement he worked as an ambassador around the world.
He retired having won three World Cups – and currently remains the only player to do so – and is still Brazil’s top scorer with 77 goals from his 92 caps. Pele reportedly scored over 1200 goals throughout his illustrious playing career, including friendlies and tours of the world, while inspiring the next generation of football with his undeniable talent and flair that was endlessly ahead of its time.