Published on December 29, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
The world of football is in mourning. Hospitalized for several days at the Albert-Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as “Pelé”, died at the age of 82 on Thursday, December 29, from colon cancer. He leaves behind five children, Kely, Jennifer, Edinho and twins Joshua and Celeste, as well as his last wife, Marcia Aoki. A three-time World Cup winner, he has long been considered the best player in football history.
Born in Tres Coraçoes, Brazil, in October 1940, he is the son of an amateur footballer, Dondinho. After having frequented several clubs in his youth, he joined the Brazilian club Santos at the age of 16, in 1956. The following year he was selected for his first World Cup in 1958, which he won. Four years later, he won a new World Cup. A competition during which he is injured. In 1966, the footballer was the victim of attacks that will remain forever etched in his memory.
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Three-time world champion
It was at the height of his career that he won his best World Cup in 1970. A legend was born. That year, the World Cup was broadcast for the first time in color and live. The ball king retired in 1977 at the age of 37 and went into politics. Between 1995 and 1998, he was Minister of Sports. He is also at the service of certain causes. In 1977, he became a UN ambassador. He also became a UNICEF ambassador for education. In Brazil, he even participates in drug prevention campaigns.
Since the announcement of his death, the tributes rain. Kylian Mbappe shared a touching message on social networks. “The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten,” he captioned a photo in which he stands alongside the football legend. The president of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron also reacted to the disappearance of Pelé. “The Game. The King. Eternity,” he wrote on Twitter.
Cristiano Ronaldo also featured the player on Instagram. “My most sincere condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Mr. Edson Arantes do Nascimento. A simple ‘goodbye’ to Eternal King Pele will never be enough to express the pain that grips everyone in football right now. An inspiration for so many millions of people, a reference of yesterday, today, forever. The affection he always showed towards me was reciprocal in all the moments we shared, even from a distance. He will never be forgotten and his memory will forever be etched in the memory of all of us football lovers. Rest in peace, King Pelé. The tributes are still likely to rain in the days to come for the football legend.