Pelé, the history-making Brazilian soccer king, has succumbed to his battle with cancer.
According to AP, the three-time World Cup winning soccer player died on Thursday. Pelé, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, had been fighting colon cancer since 2021. His cause of death was determined to be multiple organ failure.
French soccer player Kylian Mbappé expressed his sadness over the football legend’s death.
“The king of football has left us, but his legacy will never be forgot. RIP KING ,” Mbappé wrote on Twitter.
The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.
RIP KING 💔👑… pic.twitter.com/F55PrcM2Ud
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) December 29, 2022
Brazilian football star Neymar, who followed in the soccer great’s footsteps, wrote a poignant message in their native language to the fallen athlete on Instagram.
“Antes de Pelé, “10” era apenas um número. Li essa frase em algum lugar, em algum momento da minha vida. Mas essa frase, linda, está incompleta. Eu diria que antes de Pelé, o futebol era apenas um esporte. Pelé mudou tudo. Transformou o futebol em arte, em entretenimento. Deu voz aos pobres, aos negros e principalmente: Deu visibilidade ao Brasil. O futebol e o Brasil elevaram seu status graças ao Rei! Ele se foi, mas a sua magia permanecerá.
Pelé é ETERNO!!”
“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!!”
“Pelé changed everything. He transformed football into art, entertainment,” Neymar, a fellow Brazilian soccer star, said on Instagram. “Football and Brazil elevated their standing thanks to the King! He is gone, but his magic will endure. Pelé is eternal!”
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NewsOnyx reported that the 82-year-old sports star’s cancer had progressively worsened. Doctors at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paolo explained to his family that he should remain hospitalized.
On Instagram, his daughter, Kely Cristina Nascimento, wrote about the patriarch’s condition last week.
“Insta family, our Christmas at home has been suspended,” Nascimento wrote in the caption. “We decided with the doctors that, for various reasons, it would be better for us to stay here with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us!! We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world! Your love for him and your stories and prayers are a HUGE comfort because we know we are not alone.”
Pelé’s body will be held in state ahead of his funeral in the center of the field he loved. Fans will see the soccer great one final time in the place where he played his greatest matches with the Santos– the Vila Belmiro Stadium– on Monday and Tuesday. The casket will also be carried through the streets and will pass in front of the home of his 100-year-old mother, Celeste.
In a private ceremony, the 82-year-old athlete will be buried at the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica cemetery.
Rest in peace, King!