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Pele: Football Legend Dies After Long Fight Against Cancer

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

The three-time World Cup champion and footballing superstar from Brazil, Pele, passed away at the age of 82.

Pele, who is widely regarded as the first worldwide football hero, has colon cancer and needs ongoing therapy after having surgery to remove a tumor in September 2021. He was initially diagnosed with a respiratory infection after being readmitted to the hospital at the end of November to reassess his cancer treatment. Later, after his body stopped responding to chemotherapy, he was transferred to palliative care.

His wife, Marcia Aoki, stayed at his bedside as medical staff at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo and promptly provided for his comfort. On Thursday, he passed away. On Instagram, his daughter Kely Nascimento verified the information, writing: "You are the reason we are everything. We will always love you. Peacefully rest."

Pele's daughter shares heart-breaking final picture of family's final moments together/Instagram

Pele also published a message on her Instagram page that read: "King Pelé's journey was characterized by inspiration and love, and he passed away gently tonight. On his voyage, Edson won over the globe with his sporting prowess, put an end to a war, did humanitarian work all over the world, and propagated what he thought was the answer to all of our problems: love. Future generations will be left with a legacy of his words from today. Love always and forever."

Top Footballers Mourn Pele

Neymar, currently Brazil's shining star, stated on social media: "10 was simply a number prior to Pelé. At some point in my life, I remember reading this phrase. But despite its beauty, this statement is lacking. Before Pelé, football was merely a sport, in my opinion. Everything has changed because of Pelé. He elevated football to the level of both art and enjoyment. He provided the underprivileged, black people, and most importantly, Brazil, a voice. Brazil and soccer have improved thanks to the King! Although he is no longer there, his charm is still present. Pelé is FOREVER!"

In a tweet, Gary Lineker said: "Pele passed away. the happiest of persons and the most divine of football players. He engaged in a game that only a few chosen ones have even approached. He lifted the most prized gold trophy three times while wearing that stunning yellow shirt. He may not be with us anymore, but football will always remember him. RIP Pele".

Pele is a revered football legend who would go on to win the World Cup thrice in 1958, 1962, and 1970. The Selecao put on probably the best World Cup final performance in the event's history, defeating Italy 4-1 at Mexico's Estadio Azteca in 1970. The Golden Ball was awarded to Pele as the competition's top performer.

A crown with the word "Eterno" was also posted by Santos, the team where Pele spent nearly two decades and scored more than 600 goals.

Kylian Mbappe has also paid tribute by saying: "The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP, King ".

“My deep sympathies to everyone in Brazil, and in particular to the family of Edson Arantes do Nascimento,” Cristiano Ronaldo said in a heartfelt letter. 

“A simple "goodbye" to the immortal King Pelé will never be adequate to explain the anguish that the entire football world is experiencing right now. A source of inspiration for millions of people, a reference yesterday, today, and forever. The love you always showed me was returned in every moment we spent, even if we were separated by distance. He will never be forgotten, and his memory will live on in everyone of us football fans for the rest of our lives. King Pele, may you rest in peace."