The iconic Brazilian footballer Pele has died at the age of 82.
He is widely regarded as having been one of the best players of all time and he is the only male footballer to have won the World Cup on three occasions.
Pele, who had a colon tumour removed last year, had been in hospital in Sao Paulo since November as his health deteriorated. It was reported in early December that he was receiving end of life care but in a social media post at the time he said he was feeling strong “with a lot of hope”.
Social media posts from his daughter Kely Nascimento showed that family had gathered to be with him in recent days. On Thursday she posted “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, rose to fame when he won his first World Cup with Brazil in 1958
The forward played his part as Brazil triumphed on the global stage in 1958, 1962 and 1970, marking him out as one of the most recognised faces in the game. Over the course of his international career he scored 77 goals in 92 matches for his country.
He began his club career with Santos at the age of 15 and went on to score over 640 goals in competitive games for the club. His total number of career goals is disputed but many put the number at over 1000 when exhibition matches are counted.
In 1975 he moved to New York Cosmos to play in the North American Soccer League, where he starred alongside Franz Beckenbauer and other high-profile imports.
Though he won 25 trophies at club level, he will be remembered primarily for his exploits in international football. From bursting on to the scene with the winning goal against Wales in the 1958 World Cup quarter-final before scoring a hat-trick in the last four against France and a double over Sweden in the final, to becoming the key man in the 1970 side that has been hailed as the greatest of all time, Pele was instantly associated with the yellow shirt of Brazil.
His goalscoring exploits earned him countless awards, thought the most notable was being named as FIFA Player of the Century in 2000, sharing the award with Diego Maradona.
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