Pelé, the Brazilian soccer star who won three World Cups and became the sport’s first global icon, died at 82. “Thanks to you, we are everything we are,” his daughter Kely Nascimento wrote in an Instagram post with a picture of Pele’s family holding his hands. “We love you very much. Rest in peace.”
In late November, Pelé was taken to a hospital in So Paulo because he had a lung infection and problems with his colon cancer. The hospital said last week that his health had worsened as his cancer worsened. Albert Einstein Hospital said he died on Thursday because the colon cancer had spread to more organs.
Pelé’s name has been linked to soccer for more than 60 years. He played in four World Cups and is the only player to win three. However, his legacy is much bigger than just the trophies and goals he scored.
Pelé once said, “I was born to play football, just like Beethoven and Michelangelo were born to write music and paint, respectively.”
People have been saying nice things about the soccer legend. Santos FC, Pelé’s first team, responded to the news on Twitter by posting an image of a crown with the word “eternal” next to it.
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Cristiano Ronaldo, a famous forward from Portugal, posted a message of condolences to Brazil on Instagram. He said, “A simple “goodbye” to the “eternal King Pelé” will never be enough to describe the pain that the whole football world is feeling right now.”
Pelé’s death was announced by Paris Saint-Germain player Kylian Mbappé, who said, “The king of football has left us, but his legacy will never be forgotten.”
A former English soccer player, Geoff Hurst wrote about Pelé on Twitter. He called him “without a doubt the best footballer I ever played against” (with Bobby Moore being the best footballer I ever played alongside). I still think Pele is the best player ever, and I was proud to be on the field with him. “Farewell, Pele, and thank you.”
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who will be the next president of Brazil, took to Twitter to pay tribute to Pelé. He said that “few Brazilians took the name of our country as far as he did.”
“The language was very different from Portuguese, but people from all over the world quickly learned how to say the magic word: ‘Pelé,'” Lula said.
— Hiru FM (@hirufmsrilanka) December 30, 2022
A public wake for Pelé will be held on Monday at the Urbano Caldeira stadium in Brazil’s So Paulo state. The stadium is called Vila Belmiro and is home to the Santos football club. A statement from Santos FC on Thursday said that the stadium would be used for the wake.
Pele’s body will be moved from the Albert Einstein Hospital to the stadium early Monday morning. The soccer star’s casket will be put in the middle of the field.
The wake at Vila Belmiro will last until Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time or 8 a.m. ET. After that, a funeral procession will carry Pelé’s coffin through the streets of the city of Santos, including where Pelé’s mother, Celeste Arantes, who is 100 years old, lives.
The funeral procession will continue to the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica cemetery in Santos, where Pelé will rest. A private funeral for family members will be held there.
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