Pele, the great Brazilian soccer player who climbed from barefoot squalor to become one of the best and most well-known athletes in modern history, died on Thursday at the age of 82, according to a post his daughter made on Instagram.
He spent the preceding three months in and out of the hospital after a malignancy was found on his colon.
Pele, real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, holds the record for most goals scored with 1,281 and is the only player to have won the World Cup three times.
In a seven-decade career as a player and soccer ambassador, he enchanted popes, presidents, and Hollywood celebrities with his superb abilities and winning smile, making soccer the most popular sport in the world.
The game was taught to Edson Arantes do Nascimento by his father, a semi-pro athlete whose promising career was cut short by a knee injury. On October 23, 1940, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in the tiny Minas Gerais community of Tres Coraçes, also known as “Three Hearts.”
His early years, particularly how he came to use his well-known moniker, are shrouded in mystery.According to Pele (sometimes), he frequently served as the goalkeeper in neighbourhood sports, which led to kids making the comparison between him and a nearby player by the name of “Bile” over time.
Pele was held in high regard for his diverse set of skills more than any other athlete before or since. He could head, pass, tackle, and, of course, score goals. He was also two-footed and had remarkable speed and stamina.