Pele, a famed Brazilian athlete, died at the age of 82, leaving behind one of sports’ biggest legacies. When his body stopped responding to cancer therapy, the 82-year-old was shifted to palliative care in early December.
His family traveled to Sao Paulo to see him at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital before Christmas. His daughter announced his death on Thursday.
Pele is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, and his 21-year career has left him with an indelible legacy.
He spent the majority of his club career at Santos, where he scored 643 goals in 659 games over the span of 18 years.
He was the New York Cosmos’ representative from 1975 to 1977. But it was his contribution to Brazil that cemented his legacy as an iconic athlete and all-time football great.
He was a key figure in the Selecao’s World Cup victories in 1958, 1962, and 1970, and no player has won the competition more times than him.
Pele won his first World Cup in 1958 at the age of 17 years and 249 days, making him the youngest player ever to do it. He also scored in the championship game, which no one younger has ever done.
That was one of 77 international goals, a total that has yet to be surpassed by a Brazilian player, with Neymar coming close.
Pele lent his name and influence to many charity endeavors after retiring, and he will be remembered as possibly the greatest World Cup player of all time.
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