Football Icon Pelé Passes Away at 82

With 77 goals in 92 international games, Pelé is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer and perhaps the greatest player in history. The unrivaled three-time World Cup winner exemplified the best qualities of the “beautiful game,” which include skill, speed, and originality.

He was born on October 23, 1940, to parents struggling financially in Tres Coracoes, southern Brazil. Edson Arantes do Nascimento explained in a tweet from 2014 that he was named after the American inventor Thomas Edison since electricity had recently been brought to his community.

Now that Pelé has passed away, it’s worth reflecting on the many milestones he reached throughout his 21-year professional football career:

Pelé’s Football Achievements

World Cup winner (with Brazil)1958, 1962, 1970
Copa America winner (with Brazil)1959, 1919
Intercontinental Cup winner (with Santos)1962, 1963
Brazilian league champion (with Santos)1958, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970
Top scorer in the Brazilian league (with Santos)1957, 1958, 1960, 1964, 1965
Top scorer in the Copa America (with Brazil)1959, 1963
Ballon d’Or winner1970
FIFA World Cup Golden Ball winner1970
FIFA World Cup All-Star Team1958, 1962, 1966, 1970
South American Footballer of the Year1973, 1974

How Did Pelé Die?

Late in life, Pelé struggled with his health. He had a tumor removed from his right colon in September 2021 and relied on a walker to get about it.

For the past year, Pelé has been undergoing chemotherapy for his disease. While the 2022 World Cup was being played in Qatar, he was hospitalized in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in November. This prompted an outpouring of solidarity from soccer fans throughout the world.

Late in November, Pelé was brought to a hospital in So Paulo with a lung infection and problems with his colon cancer.

The hospital said last week that his condition had deteriorated due to the aggressiveness of his malignancy. On Thursday, his colon cancer had progressed to the point where it had shut down various organs, as reported by Albert Einstein Hospital.

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