Pele leaves his fans wondering if they will ever get to see a great football player like him again. The entire world mourns his death after a private hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, announced Thursday night that the legend had passed away.
His battle with cancer saw him fight at his best. He had a colon tumor removed in September 2021, but that did not stop complications from occurring again in his body. Pele was under the critical care of hospital authorities for the treatment of kidney and cardiac dysfunction.
Since making his debut at the tender age of 17 in the FIFA World Cup 1958, where he became the youngest football player ever to compete and win the cup, he has always worn the number 10. This was followed by victories in 1962 and 1970, making him the first player in history to win the FIFA World Cup three times.
Sweden reached the final of the 1958 tournament only to lose 5-2 to Brazil. Pele left his mark by scoring two goals for his side.
Pele participated in 92 international matches and scored 77 goals. The journey began in 1956 when Santos chose him at the youthful age of 16. His relationship with the club lasted until 1974. Pele made 659 appearances for the club and scored 648 goals.
A transition to the New York Cosmos made his name considerably more valuable on every possible level. Pele was affiliated with the new club from 1975 until 1977. Throughout these three years, he scored 31 goals in 56 appearances.
He was given the Guinness World Record for scoring 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, including friendly games. His nearly two-decade career comes to an end with this accomplishment. Pele served as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO up until 1994 when then-Brazil President Fernando Henrique Cardoso appointed him to the role of Extraordinary Minister for Sports.
Pele Law is named after him in honor of his attempts to introduce a regulation to lessen corruption in Brazilian football. In 1997, he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
A fun fact: Pele is the youngest football player ever to score a hat trick in the FIFA World Cup.
Pele is credited with the publication of multiple publications, including his autobiography. He has also appeared in Hollywood films, including the 1991 war/drama Escape to Victory, which also starred Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine.
His participation in humanitarian efforts simply reinforced the reputation he had built over the years. At one point, accusations were made that he had misused funds. It was never proven to be true, and Pele lived a typical life as a star.
Love for him comes from all corners of the globe. Mbappe, who now wears the same number for international competitions, wished him a swift recovery. Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar expressed his condolences by stating that his legacy will endure forever.
Due to his modesty and lovable features, Pele remains one of the most popular athletes, even after his passing.
Born on October 23, 1940, his life has come full circle. A legend on and off the field, he has left a legacy that even the current greats find difficult to match. Pele inspired a generation to love and play football with passion. Even though he will always be remembered, the sounds of his kicks and dribbles continue to be heard.