One of the world’s greatest icons, and Brazilian soccer legend, widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all-time, Pelé, passed away at the age of 82 earlier today, Thursday December 29th, at Albert Einstein hospital located in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Appearing in four World Cup finals throughout his career, Pelé stands as the only player in the tournament’s history to win three titles. And overall, he totaled 1,283 goals in 1,363 matches (12 scored in World Cup play).
🐐 Pelé’s Major Honours;
🏆🏆🏆 FIFA World Cup
🏆🏆 Copa Libertadores
🎖️FIFA Player of the Century
🎖️1970 World Cup Golden Ball
🎖️Youngest World Cup Winner
🎖️Most hat-tricks of all time-92
🎖️Most World Cup assists-10
🎖️Honorary Ballon d’Or#Pele|#BRA pic.twitter.com/eShUBmAliE
— FIFA World Cup Stats (@alimo_philip) December 29, 2022
With that being said, Pelé was more than just titles and statistics.
Born in Três Corações, Brazil, living in Santos for the majority of his life, Pelé influenced and transformed how societies across the world view sports, not just as a form of a game, but as a piece of art, and entertainment.
“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint,” Pelé once famously said.
Numerous tributes have poured out on social media from the most prolific soccer athletes across the globe, paying their respects, and expressing their admiration for Pelé.
“The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten,” said Kylian Mbappé of Paris Saint-Germain.
“A mere “goodbye” to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that currently engulfs the entire football world,” posted on Instagram by Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Everything you see any player doing, Pelé did it first. RIP ⚽️🤴🏿 pic.twitter.com/SeW0z1hQTm
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) December 29, 2022
Neymar shared on his Instagram: “Before Pelé, 10 was just a number. I’ve read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful is incomplete. I would say before Pelé, football was just a sport. Pelé has changed it all. He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave voice to the poor, to the blacks and especially: He gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He’s gone but his magic remains. Pelé is FOREVER!!”
A inspiração e o amor marcaram a jornada de Rei Pelé, que faleceu no dia de hoje.
Amor, amor e amor, para sempre.
Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.
Love, love and love, forever. pic.twitter.com/CP9syIdL3i
— Pelé (@Pele) December 29, 2022
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