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Pelé: Brazil legend dies at 82 after battle with cancer | football news



World Cups

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, one of the greatest players of all time, has died at the age of 82.

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The former striker, who is the only player in history to win three World Cups, died at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo after a battle with cancer.

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A message from Pelé’s official Twitter account on Thursday read: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who passed away peacefully today. Love, love and love, forever.”

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Pele, who is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 games, became an icon of the game after winning the World Cup in 1958 as a 17-year-old, scoring twice in the final to defeat Brazil. host Sweden.

Pelé, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento to a poor Sao Paulo family, won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups with Brazil.

Injury limited his contribution to Brazil’s 1962 triumph in Chile, but he was player of the tournament eight years later, when Brazil assembled one of the greatest teams of all time and lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in Mexico with a win by 4-1 over Italy. in which Pelé scored the opening goal.

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The Special Football panel pays tribute to Pelé

World Cup

That goal makes him one of five players to have scored in two World Cup finals and, thanks to his exploits in 1958, he remains the youngest player to have scored a goal in the tournament.

In total, Pelé scored 12 goals in 14 World Cup appearances and also provided 10 assists, the most by any player in the competition’s history, and a reminder that he was much more than just a goalscorer.

However, it was his spectacular goalscoring feats that made him a Santos legend at club level.

Image: Pelé with a policeman in Chester during the 1966 World Cup in England

Copa Libertadores

Pelé holds his hometown team’s all-time goalscoring record and helped them win two Copa Libertadores titles and six Brazilian league crowns during a glittering 18-year spell with the club.

Pele, who scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances for club and country during his career, ended his playing days with the New York Cosmos and retired from soccer in 1977.

Image: Pelé celebrates winning the 1970 World Cup

Dream Team

After retiring, Pelé acted as an ambassador for soccer. In 2013, he received the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur award in recognition of his career and achievements. In 2020, he was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team, the greatest XI of all time.

Neymar: King Pelé is forever

Neymar, Brazil’s top scorer in international men’s soccer along with Pelé, shared an emotional tribute to his idol after his passing.

“‘Before Pelé, 10 was just a number,'” Neymar, who wears Brazil’s number 10 and also began his career with Santos, wrote in a post on Instagram.

“I have read this sentence somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful, is incomplete.

“I would say that before Pelé, football was just a sport. Pelé changed everything. He turned football into art, into entertainment.

“He gave a voice to the poor, to the blacks and above all: he gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have risen in status thanks to the King! He is gone but his magic remains. Pelé is forever.”

Martin Tyler: ‘In the world of football, Pelé is immortal’

Sky Sports football commentator Martin Tyler says Pele deserves to be remembered as the greatest player to ever play the game.

He said: “For me, he is the greatest player of all time. One of my first jobs outside television was to put the voice in English on a VHS, as it was in those days, of his career in Brazil and his 1,000 goals.

“If I had any doubts about how good he was, that video proved it. It was a privilege to do that and pay tribute to a man who could do so much more than score goals.”

“He will always be remembered for the ability to score incredible goals in terrible conditions on bumpy pitches, when players had more license to use any means to stop him. He was irresistible.

“Without a doubt for me he will always be the greatest and in the world of football he is immortal.”

‘One of the greatest’: Sport pays tribute to Pelé


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