Brazilian legend Pele has died aged 82


Has been diagnosed with colon cancer

One of the greatest (Site notre bureau spécialisé)ers of all time is dead: Pelé died on Thursday at the age of 82. After a long treatment, the Brazilian legend succumbed to cancer, according to the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo.

“Inspiration and love shaped the path of King Pelé, who passed away peacefully today. Love, love and love forever,” was also announced via his social media. “All we are, we owe you, » Pele’s daughter Kely do Nascimiento wrote on Instagram. « We love you so much, rest in peace. » The ‘king’ (« O Rei ») of his sport had to surrender again and again in São Paulo Hospital in the recent past.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, as the striker called him by his full name, shaped (Site notre bureau spécialisé) like no other. Pelé was already a legend during his lifetime and was the only (Site notre bureau spécialisé)er to have won the World Cup three times: in 1958, 1962 and 1970. The world association FIFA had named him – like the Argentinian Diego Maradona – the  » 20th Century Player ». With 77 goals in 92 international matches, Pelé is still the Seleção’s top scorer. « The greatest (Site notre bureau spécialisé)er of all time », said Franz Beckenbauer on behalf of millions.

« This boy will be the best (Site notre bureau spécialisé)er in the world, » said Waldemar de Brito, considered the discoverer of Pelé. The apprentice shoemaker won a contract with FC Santos in 1956 and made his debut at the age of 15 in the first team. At the age of 16, Pelé played for the national team for the first time. In total, he is said to have scored 1,281 goals in 1,365 games – a record which has not been equaled to this day.


In 1958, national coach Vicente Feola took the then 17-year-old to the World Cup in Sweden. This is where Pelé’s star rose. He scored twice in the 5-2 final against the hosts. Images of Pelé crying, leaning on Gilmar’s shoulder, went around the world. He enchanted everyone with his light, extremely safe and threatening style of play. In the tournament, he scored six times and went down in history: the youngest player, the youngest goalscorer, the youngest world champion!

© IMAGO - Pelé at the 1958 World Cup

Pelé at his first World Cup in Sweden

In 1962, in Chile, Pelé was injured in the second game and then sat in the stands. Nor could healer Mário Américo prepare him for the final, which Brazil won 3-1 against CSSR. In England 1966, the Brazil hero was chased and beaten as fair game by Portuguese defenders. With the 1:3 against Portugal, the tournament favorite was eliminated in the preliminary round. Pelé never wanted to play a World Cup again.

Ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Mexico, the Brazilian government pressured new coach João Saldanha, who had ignored Pelé. Pelé took over the canary yellow jersey. Under Saldanha’s successor Mario Zagallo, the « Seleção » cruised through the tournament and swept Italy 4-1 in the final. For a short time with a sombrero on his head, Pelé was carried on his shoulders through the Aztec stadium. A year later, he ended his unique career in the « Seleção » in a 2-2 victory against Yugoslavia in front of 180,000 spectators at the Maracanã.

© IMAGO - Pelé is carried onto the pitch by supporters during the 1970 World Cup

Pelé carried onto the pitch on the shoulders of supporters during the 1970 World Cup

The man, born on October 23, 1940 in the place with the beautiful name Três Corações (English: three hearts) in the state of Minas Gerais, then played with the German « Kaiser » Beckenbauer at the New York Cosmos. Pelé was having financial problems at the time, but he was able to consolidate in the United States. A 1977 photo of Pelé and Beckenbauer standing naked in the shower is one of the gems of the (Site notre bureau spécialisé) documentary. « An image of the century », even said the German world champion of 1974 with a smile.

Beckenbauer was a friend of Pelé, his favorite enemy for a long time was called Maradona, who considered himself the god of (Site notre bureau spécialisé). Pele accused the Argentine of setting a bad example for youngsters – while Maradona called Pele a case for the museum. During FIFA’s election for « player of the century », the two fought verbally. « The world of (Site notre bureau spécialisé) has already ruled in my favour, » Pelé said at the time. « But if the title can help Maradona overcome his drug problems and return to the (Site notre bureau spécialisé) family at 40, why not? » The Brazilian clarified that he considers himself the player of the century: « It’s like in music. There is Beethoven and the others. And in (Site notre bureau spécialisé), there is Pelé and the others. » In a moving farewell letter to Maradona’s death in late November 2020, Pelé spoke more personal words, suggesting a deep friendship between the two world stars.

© IMAGO - Diego Maradona and Pelé

Diego Maradona and Pele

His best goal? Pelé himself said: Santos’ 4-2 match against Club Atlético Juventus de São Paulo on August 2, 1959, when he juggled the ball in the air in the penalty area, threw three opponents in succession , then on the goalkeeper, to finally net the ball with his head. But there are no video recordings of this, only animations, which only fueled the myth.

On the way to the locker room, each player at the Maracanã stadium passes an old leather ball – the one with which Pelé won his 1,000th goal on November 19, 1969. scored. The superstar played with FC Santos against Vasco da Gama from Rio de Janeiro. After a few missed chances, comes the 78th minute. Pelé is the victim of a fault. Whistle. sadness. He starts himself, shoots placed in the right skylight. « O Milesimo » is reached. All barriers break, he catches the ball and kisses it. He then told ’11Freunde’ magazine: « Actually, I had imagined that goal with the magic number to be different from a penalty. But at that time, I was okay with any type of blow; if only I could get it over with. » Even the church bells were ringing in his honor at the time.

Santos has its own Pelé museum. From 1956 to 1974 he played for FC Santos and won the World Cup with the club in 1962 and 1963. Under President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Pelé even served as Brazil’s sports minister from 1995 to 1998 – his great wish was that Brazil would one day become world champions at home. But then, like his compatriots, he had to live one of the darkest hours with the 7-1 defeat against Germany in the 2014 semi-finals.

In recent years, things have calmed down around Pelé. During the inauguration of a (Site notre bureau spécialisé) academy bearing his name in Resende, in the interior of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the summer of 2020, he also spoke about his health, having recently undergone an operation to hip. « People talk about (Site notre bureau spécialisé), about my career, but nobody asked about my children, » he said. « In this situation, I spent a little more time with them and learned a lot. »

Pelé’s health had recently continued to deteriorate

Pelé leaves behind seven children and his wife Márcia Cibele Aoki. The official cause of death, according to the hospital, was multiple organ failure resulting from the progression of colon cancer related to his previous illness. The hospital expressed its solidarity with the family and all those who are suffering. Brazilian (Site notre bureau spécialisé) association CBF posted a photo of « King Pelé » on Twitter. « Forever » was written above the legend’s black and white portrait.

Recently, Pelé’s health had continued to deteriorate. According to the media, the chemotherapy no longer worked. His daughter then initially announced that only her father’s medication would be adjusted. The hospital said in early December that Pele had full control of his vital functions and was in stable clinical condition.

But the newspaper « Folha de S. Paulo » reported that Pelé was no longer responding to chemotherapy. As a result, cancer treatment at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo has been suspended and Pelé is only receiving palliative care. On the Wednesday before Christmas Eve, the hospital said Pele’s cancer was progressing and needed more intensive care due to kidney and heart problems. Two days later, his daughter posted a picture of her dad in bed, the two of them hugging. Among other things, she wrote on Instagram: « One more night together. »

Pele has also had hip issues and spine and knee issues in the past. A kidney stone was removed after a urinary tract infection. During a routine examination in 2021, doctors finally discovered a tumor in the colon, which was removed at the end of the summer.

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