Farewell, Pele

The news of Pele’s passing came after reports claiming that the condition of the football legend had worsened in recent days and he was put under “elevated care” ..reports Asian Lite News

In a moving tribute to the man who made football ‘the beautiful game’, his family put out a message that summed up his life on his official Twitter handle on Thursday morning local time, announcing his death.

“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever.”

Pele’s daughter, Kelly Nascimento, posted a social media update where she shared a picture of her along with members of her family, and wrote: “We have to look out for each other, and hold tight.”

The news of Pele’s passing came after reports claiming that the condition of the football legend had worsened in recent days and he was put under “elevated care” related to “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions”.

Brazil legend Pele hospitalised again to undergo colon tumor treatment

In other tribute, Manchester United tweeted: “Rest in peace, Pele. Thank you for the joy you brought to football fans around the world.”

Unesco, which Pele had been representing since 1994 as the Champion for Sport, tweeted: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pele. We extend our condolences to the Brazilian people and the football family. @Pele was @UNESCO Champion for Sport since 1994 and worked relentlessly to promote sport as a tool for peace. He will be greatly missed.”

The Three Lions posted a throwback picture of a bromantic moment between a shirtless Pele and an equally shirtless George Best tweeted: “One of the greatest to have graced the beautiful game. Farewell, Pele. You will never be forgotten.”

The only footballer to lift three FIFA World Cup titles (in 1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele, whose real name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, rose from the impoverished bylanes of Sao Paulo, Brazil, to become the world’s most recognised football player, considered by many as the greatest to have ever graced the game.

Married thrice, Pele is survived by two sons — Edinho, a professional footballer (goalkeeper), and Joshua — and his daughters — Kelly Cristina, Flavia Kurtz and Celeste, His daughter, Sandra Regina Arantes do Nascimento, who won a long legal battle to have the former football player recognised as her father, died from cancer in 2006 aged 42.

Pele spent the last month of his life at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, battling complications arising from advancing cancer.

The 82-year-old had earlier had a colon tumour removed in September 2021 and neither his family, nor doctors, specified whether it had spread to other organs. He was stable after surgery but had to return to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) a few weeks later following respiratory instability.

He was admitted to the hospital on November 29 for a reassessment of the treatment. However, a few days later, he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection and was receiving the necessary care.

Called by various names such as ‘Gasolina’, ‘The Black Pearl’ and ‘O Rei’ (The King), the nickname that stuck like glue to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who, as ‘Pele’, became the greatest footballer the world has ever known.

It is with that name he left the world as the most cherished and loved sports star we have ever seen.

Labelled “the greatest” by FIFA, football’s world governing body, named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999 and included in TIME Magazine’s list of 100 most important people of the 20th century, Pele was in 2000 voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award.

But for millions of fans of the game around the globe, Pele was the first person who made football Jogo Bonito, “the beautiful game”.

He was the original No. 10 of world football, a number now sported by Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbapp. He was the genius who played the game with passion and was so unstoppable that fouling him was the only option for the numerous defenders that he faced.

A player of sublime skills, great presence in the field, immaculate positional sense, magical dribbling skills, two brilliant feet and a devastatingly powerful shot, right-footed Pele was thus far the only footballer to have lifted the World Cup thrice — 1958, 1962 and 1970.

ALSO READ: ‘King of Football’ Pele is no more

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