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Greatest of all time, Brazilian football legend Pele passes away

The Brazilian football legend was diagnosed in 2021 with colon cancer (Image courtesy: Twitter/@CBF_Futebol)

Widely regarded as the greatest idol of world football, 82-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento, famously known as Pele, passed away at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo earlier Friday.

The Brazilian football legend was diagnosed in 2021 with colon cancer and had his death confirmed due to the problem, with multiple organ failure.

The King of Football, born on October 23, 1940, is the only athlete to win three World Cups in his career. With his beautiful moves and more than a thousand goals in his career, Pele is responsible for the popularization of football in the world and has become more than an idol of world football.

Pele played 113 games for the Brazilian national team from 1957 to 1971, scoring 95 goals and starring in 84 wins, 15 draws and 14 defeats. He won the World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970, Roca Cup (1957 and 1963), Atlantic Cup (1960), Oswaldo Cruz Cup (1958, 1962 and 1968) and Bernardo O’Higgins Cup (1959).

His relationship with football started when he was just a boy. Shortly before turning 10 years old, he watched his father Dondinho’s sadness with Brazil’s defeat in the 1950 World Cup final.

As his family moved to Bauru, in the interior of Sao Paulo. Pele helped around the house, selling peanuts, shined shoes (his shoe shine box is one of his prides and a fundamental piece in his museum) and, aged 16, he went to Santos, where he began his professional career.

At the age of 16, Pele made his debut with the national team at Maracanã in a defeat. Brazil lost 2-1 to Argentina, but Pelé left his mark. The young man came on in the 20th minute of the second half and scored for the first time with Amarelinha, tying the match.

A year later, Pele went to Sweden to play in his first World Cup.

Between one World Cup and another, Pele won countless titles with Santos, the club that revealed him and for which he played most of his career.

The Brazilian Football Confederation Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) said the idol’s death is the saddest news reported by the CBF since its founding 108 years ago. Because of Pele’s death, the organisation’s president, Ednaldo Rodrigues, declared official mourning for seven days.

“I am deeply moved by Pele’s departure. The CBF will pay all possible tributes to the greatest athlete of all time. Pele is eternal and we will always work to preserve his history and perpetuate his legacy”, said CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues.