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29th Dec 2022

Football legend Pele has died aged 82

Steve Hopkins

RIP Pele

Football legend Pele has passed away. He was 82.

Pele passed away at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo on Thursday following a long battle with cancer.

The Brazilian, whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time and won the World Cup for Brazil three times. He was a prolific goal scorer, banging 77 into the net in 92 games for his country and 643 in 659 games for his Brazilian club, Santos.

In 1999, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.

The following year, Pele was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics  and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century.

Pele’s 1,279 goals in 1,363 games – which includes friendlies –  is recognised as a Guinness World Record.

Pele’s death came after it was announced on Saturday that he was receiving measures to relieve pain in an “end-of life palliative care” ward.

Pele was admitted into the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday suffering from “general swelling” and “heart failure”, but an update on Thursday said he was in a “stable” condition.

On Saturday, Folha de Sao Paulo reported that Pele was no longer responding to the chemotherapy treatment that he had been undergoing since last September for bowel cancer.

They further reported that Pele is in palliative care and won’t be subjected to invasive tests or treatment.

On Friday, the Albert Einstein Hospital released a statement saying Pele had been diagnosed with a “respiratory infection” that was being treated with antibiotics and would remain in hospital for a few days.

In a post on Pele’s Instagram account on Friday, he responded to a “Get well soon” message that was projected onto a building in Qatar, where the World Cup is taking place, writing: “Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit. It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes.”

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