“Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace” posted on social networks his daughter Kely Nascimento.
Three-time world champion with the Brazilian national team (1958, 1962 and 1970) and considered by many the greatest soccer player in history, the “King” will be buried in the city of Santos (southeast), where the club where he based his professional career, Santos Futebol Clube, is based, reports local chain O Globo.
Pelé had been hospitalized at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo since November 29 due to a respiratory infection caused by covid-19 and treatment for colon cancer.
AN UNPARALLELED CAREER
To this day, the country’s greatest soccer idol, Pelé, is the only active or retired player to have won three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
The striker spent his entire career practically with Santos, a club from the coast of Sao Paulo with which he won 48 titles, including two Libertadores Cups, before emigrating to the New York Cosmos, a brief stage at the end of his career in which he tried to popularize soccer in that country.
The eternal ’10’ scored 1,283 goals during his professional career, earning him a Guinness Award, including 757 goals in official matches, the only ones recognized by FIFA.
With the Canarinha, he had 95 goals, including 77 in matches against other national teams, the latter record only equaled in Brazil by Neymar.
For these achievements, FIFA chose Pelé as the best player of the 20th century. At the same time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) named him the best athlete of the century in a vote held by the national committees in 1999.
Born in Tres Coraçoes, Minas Gerais, in 1940, Pelé began playing for Santos at the age of 15 and made his debut for the Brazilian national soccer team at 16.
His advanced style of play for his time and spectacular goals made him a star worldwide, taking his club, Santos, on international tours, touring the Americas, Europe and Africa to face the best national teams in the world.
He retired from soccer in 1977 and became a global soccer ambassador.
He also made a brief foray into politics and became the first Minister of Sports in Brazil’s history, from 1995 to 1998, and during his tenure, promoted the law regulating player transfers.
Brazilian soccer legend Pele (L) and Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona (R) during the match between Italy and Argentina in Zurich, Switzerland, 10 June 1987