Brazilian football icon Pele, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and a three-time World Cup winner who masterminded the “beautiful game”, has died at the age of 82, his family said on Thursday.
“Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace,” daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele spent most of his career with Brazil and in club football at Santos and the New York Cosmos.
With Santos, he won the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup twice, along with 10 Paulista state championships and six Brazilian league titles. He remains the only player to win the World Cup three times and famously scored more than 1,000 professional goals.
Marking his 80th birthday in 2020, he said with a laugh in a short video sent to the media: “Now that I am 80, I need to thank God for giving me the health to get this far, and lucidly, although not always intelligently.”
Wherever he went, Pele was feted as “The King”, a title given to him by playwright Nelson Rodrigues when he was just 17.