The world of soccer is mourning the loss of one of its eternal legends, the Brazilian star Pelé, who passed away this Thursday at the age of 82.
Pelé has been fighting colon cancer for quite some time, and his team posted on social media that he passed away from his battle.
“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who passed away peacefully today. Love, love and love, forever,” the caption on Twitter read.
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Many around the world offered their condolences to Pelé’s family, including the man who wears Brazil’s number 10 today: Neymar Jr.
“Before Pelé, 10 was just a number”, Neymar wrote on Instagram. “I have read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful, is incomplete. He would say that before Pelé, football was just a sport. Pelé changed everything. He turned football into art, into entertainment. . He gave a voice to the poor, to the blacks and above all: he gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have risen in status thanks to the King! He’s gone but his magic remains. Pelé is FOREVER!!”
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Pelé helped win a record three World Cups over the course of his illustrious career, and a man who finally got his first in his last appearance, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, simply said: “Rest in peace” on Instagram too.
Cristiano Ronaldo, another soccer legend, paid his respects to a man he knew quite well.
“My deepest condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Edson Arantes do Nascimento. A simple ‘goodbye’ to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that the entire world of football embraces at this time. An inspiration to so many millions, a reference yesterday, today and always. The love you always showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared even from a distance. It will never be forgotten and its memory will live forever in each and every one of the soccer lovers. Rest in peace King Pele”, said Ronald wrote on Instagram.
There is much more love and respect for Pelé, as the Brazilian National Team published on Twitter.
France superstar Kylian Mbappe also paid his respects.
The Premier League and several teams within it gave their condolences.
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German star Mesut Özil shared the same sentiment as others, saying: “Your legacy will live on forever.”
And Pelé’s stardom reached beyond soccer, as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt shared a few words.
Pelé had a tumor removed in September 2021 and has been undergoing chemotherapy ever since. He was admitted to the hospital at the end of November and his daughter said it was to regulate his medication. However, in recent weeks, his condition worsened and he was placed in hospice care only a few days later.
Pelé helped Brazil win two other World Cup trophies: the 1962 World Cup in Chile and the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Brazil crashed out in the first round of the 1966 World Cup in England, having played just three games.
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Neymar and Pelé are tied for the most international goals scored in Brazil’s history with 77.