Soccer star Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known globally as Pelé, passed away at the age of 82 due to complications from colon cancer. He was hospitalized in São Paulo for the past month.
One of Pelé’s daughters, Kely Nascimento, announced his death on Instagram, sharing a photo of their family holding his hand and saying, “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Pelé was considered by many to be the best soccer player of all time, and he was the global face of the sport for decades. He started his career in rural Brazil to become known for his powerful and creative style of play, earning three World Cup titles and scoring over 1,200 goals during his career.
Pelé was also known for his athleticism and was a pioneer of the bicycle kick, a move where a player leaps up to strike an airborne ball with their foot. He was named the Athlete of the Century by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and Player of the Century by the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics).
Pele was also the joint Player of the Century by FIFA and received numerous other accolades throughout his life. Pelé also served as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and Brazil’s Minister of Sports, where he worked to protect the labor rights of athletes.