Pele dies at 82: World is mourning
Pele - considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time - has died at the age of 82.
A three-time World Cup-winner with Brazil, Pele - along with Diego Maradona - was the defining footballer of the 20th century and was named along with the Argentine as one of the two players of the century by Fifa in 2000.
His astonishing 1279 goals in 1363 games is recognised as a world record, while he remains tied with Neymar as Brazil’s leading goalscorer on 77.
It had been well known for some time that Pele’s health had been deteriorating. In September 2021, he had surgery to have a tumour removed before undergoing chemotherapy. Last month he returned to hospital with cardiac issues and his health reportedly deteriorated significantly in recent weeks.
Pele’s emergence at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden remains the greatest debut bow in the history of football’s biggest tournament. His six goals in four matches helped carry Brazil to their first ever World Cup triumph and made their young striker a household name overnight.
Further World Cup glory awaited in 1962, albeit in a tournament during which injury denied the world from seeing Pele at his absolute pomp.
In 1970, Pele returned to true pre-eminence on the world stage, leading one of the greatest international sides of all time to World Cup glory in Mexico.
Pelé, along with the likes of Rivelino, Jairzinho, Gérson, Carlos Alberto, Tostão and Clodoaldo, lit up the tournament - the first to be shown globally in colour - with a series of electrifying performances culminating in a 4-1 defeat of Italy in the final.
Pele himself scored the opening goal before turning provider to assist goals for both Jairzinho and Carlos Alberto.
Greats of the games including Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Ferenc Puskas and Bobby Moore named Pele the greatest player in history, a standing which remained indelibly attached to him even with emergence of football’s modern greats, reports Telegraph.
A wake is expected to be held at Santos' Urbano Caldeira stadium, most commonly known as Vila Belmiro, on Monday.
Pele's daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram:
We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.
Pele's former club Santos FC:
French president Emmanuel Macron tributes:
Le Jeu. Le Roi. L’Éternité.
O Jogo. O Rei. A Eternidade.
Kylian Mbappe's tribute:
The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.