Pelé, Brazilian Soccer Legend, Dead at 82

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, who won an unprecedented three World Cup championships, has died at age 82 following a battle with colon cancer.

pele dead 82 brazilian legend

Image via Getty/JOEDSON ALVES / AFP

pele dead 82 brazilian legend

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has died following a battle with colon cancer, the Associated Press reports. He was 82.

Often considered one of the greatest players of all-time, Pelé helped the Brazil national team win three FIFA World Cups, and is the only player to achieve such a feat. 

He had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer since 2021, and was hospitalized last month as his condition worsened. 

"Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today," reads a statement from his official Instagram page. "On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love. His message today becomes a legacy for future generations. Love, love and love, forever." 

Pelé held the title of Brazil’s joint all-time record scorer, and during his 14-year international career he scored 77 goals for his country in 92 appearances. He played a total of 1,363 professional games, during which he scored 1,281 goals. 

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in 1940, he began his professional soccer career at age 15 and made his international debut just a year later. Following his retirement, he was voted the World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, and has been named “the greatest” player of all-time by FIFA. 


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