International football icon, Brazil’s Edson Arantes de Nascimento, more popularly known as ‘Pele’, has died after a long battle with colon cancer. He died Thursday at the age of 82.
His death was announced on his Twitter handle by family sources late Thursday. Reckoned as the king of football, Pele bowed out with a goal-scoring record of 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a football career that spanned 21 years.
He scored 77 goals in 92 caps for Brazil with the enviable record of three World Cup trophies. He first won the World Cup for Brazil in 1958 and repeated the feat in 1962 and 1970.
He was in the year 2000 named FIFA Player of the Century. In 2021 he had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo. He was later readmitted to the hospital in late November 2022.
His daughter Kely Nascimento has kept fans updated on her father’s condition with regular social media updates from the hospital.
On Thursday she posted a picture of what appeared to be Pele’s family’s hands on his body in the hospital and wrote: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”