Brazilian football legend Pelé dies at 82

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The superstar Brazil nicknamed “O Rei” – the King – and winner of three World Cups died at the age of 82. Pelé’s daughter Kely Nascimento announced his death on Instagram.

“We love you infinitely, rest in peace,” she wrote. Pele had undergone treatment for colon cancer since 2021. He had been hospitalised for the last month with multiple ailments and died of organ failure.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in a poor family in Três Corações in southeastern Brazil on October 23, 1940. Nicknamed Pelé as a schoolboy, was the first man to have ever scored 1,000 career goals. Pelé’s dizzying exploits on the pitch brought him to 1,281 goals in 1,362 matches between 1956 and 1977 – including more than 1,000 for fabled Santos FC.

It was wearing that club’s famous white shirt that Pelé achieved some of his most glittering successes, not least winning two Copa Libertadores (1961, 1962) and a Recopa Sudamericana (1968).

But Pelé, who also won 11 regional championships, was far more than just a club player. Selected 92 times by his country, Pelé’s international play was, too, the stuff of legend. He won three World Cups with Brazil (1958, 1962 and 1970) – a feat that remains his alone.