The football world is in mourning after the death of Pele.
Widely considered one of the best players of all time, the ‘king’ has died at the age of 82. His family announced his passing on social media.
In a statement on his official Instagram account, Pele’s family wrote: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today. 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.”
Pele, who’s full name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 world cup, scoring in all three knock-out games as Brazil lifted the trophy for the first time. He lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for a record three times during his career.
The Brazilian Football Federation posted a picture of him celebrating a goal, saying “RIP Pele” and adding three crown emojis. Tributes to the icon have continued to pour in following the announcement of his death.
Neymar wrote: “Before Pelé, 10 was just a number. I read that phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But that sentence, beautiful, is incomplete.
“I would say that before Pelé, football was just a sport. Pele changed everything. He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave a voice to the poor, to black people and especially: Gave visibility to Brazil.
“Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He is gone, but his magic remains. Pele is ETERNAL!!”
France star Kylian Mbappe wrote on Instagram: “The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.” And Chelsea’s Brazil defender Thiago Silva posted an image on his Twitter account of Pele doing an overhead kick.
Silva also wrote: “Forever the King of football, the Legend! Rest in peace, Pele. You have changed the History of football. Your legacy will always be in our hearts. Thanks for everything!”
Can you watch Pele’s highlights?
Pele scored 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil, including in two world cup finals. He also scored 618 goals for Santos and 37 times for New York Cosmos.
The official FIFA channel on YouTube has highlights from the 1958 and 1970 finals, including the goals scored by Pele. The website also hosts other highlight reels featuring footage of the ‘king’ in action during his career.
Was Pele in Escape to Victory and is it available in the UK?
Following his retirement in 1977, Pele turned his hand to acting and appeared in commercials as well as films. He famously was part of the cast for the 1981 film Escape to Victory.
The sports movie, directed by John Huston, it follows a group of Allied prisoners of war who are interned in a German prison camp during the Second World War and play an exhibition match of football against a German team. Pele starred in the film alongside Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Max von Sydow.
He was not the only professional footballer to appear in the movie, Bobby Moore, Osvaldo Ardiles, Kazimierz Deyna, Paul Van Himst, Mike Summerbee, Hallvar Thoresen and Werner Roth all featured. Players from Ipswich Town were also part of the cast.
It is available for purchase to buy or rent on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and more.
What was Pele’s cause of death?
A hospital statement read: “The Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein regretfully confirms the death of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele, today, December 29, 2022, at 3:27 pm, due to the failure of multiple organs, a result of the progression of cancer of colon associated with his previous clinical condition.
“Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein sympathizes with the family and everyone who suffers from the loss of our dear King of Football.” Pele had previously had a tumor removed in September 2021.