Life and death of the football legend Pele

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Football Legend Pele gave football fans the best childhood memory of when he was alive and playing football, details about the life and death of the football legend Pele.

Pele was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and labelled “the greatest” by FIFA.

In 1999, Pele 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.

Pelé began playing for Santos at age 15 and the Brazil national team at 16. During his international career, he lifted three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1970, and remain the only player to do so.

Club career

In 1956, Pele to try out for professional club Santos FC, back then Brito who took him there told the directors at Santos that the 15-year-old would be “the greatest football player in the world.

When the 1957 season started, Pelé was given a starting place in the first team and, at the age of 16, became the top scorer in the league. Ten months after signing professionally, the teenager was called up to the Brazil national team.

After the 1958 and the 1962 World Cup, top European clubs, such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United, tried to sign him but were unable to get him.

Italian club, Inter Milan managed to get him a regular contract, but Angelo Moratti was forced to tear the contract up at the request of Santos’ chairman following a revolt by Santos’ Brazilian fans.

In 1958, Pelé won his first major title with Santos as the team won the Campeonato Paulista and also finish the tournament as the top scorer, with 58 goals.

In 1969, the two factions involved in the Nigerian Civil War agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pelé play an exhibition game in Lagos. Santos ended up playing to a 2–2 draw with Lagos side Stationary Stores FC and Pelé scored his team’s goals.

International Career

In the 1959 South American Championship, Pelé was named best player of the tournament and was the top scorer with eight goals, as Brazil came second despite being unbeaten in the tournament. He scored in five of Brazil’s six games, including two goals against Chile and a hat-trick against Paraguay.

In the 1962 World Cup, Pelé was the best-rated player in the world. In the first match of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, against Mexico, Pelé assisted the first goal and then scored the second one, after a run past four defenders, to go up 2–0. He got injured in the next game while attempting a long-range shot against Czechoslovakia which kept him out of the rest of the tournament.

Pelé was the most famous footballer in the world during the 1966 World Cup in England, and Brazil fielded some world champions like Garrincha, Gilmar and Djalma Santos with the addition of other stars like Jairzinho, Tostão and Gérson, leading to high expectations for them.

Brazil was eliminated in the first round, playing only three matches. The World Cup was marked, among other things, for brutal fouls on Pelé that left him injured by the Bulgarian and Portuguese defenders.


In 1977, Brazilian media reported that Pelé had his right kidney removed. In November 2012, Pelé underwent a successful hip operation. In December 2017, Pelé appeared in a wheelchair at the 2018 World Cup draw in Moscow where he was pictured with President Vladimir Putin and Argentine footballer Diego Maradona.

In September 2021, Pelé had surgery to remove a tumour on the right side of his colon. Although his eldest daughter Kely stated he was “doing well”, he was reportedly readmitted to intensive care a few days later, before finally being released on 30 September 2021 to begin chemotherapy.

In December 2022 at the Albert Einstein Hospital, where Pelé was being treated, stated that his tumour had advanced and he required “greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions”.It was reported that Pelé died on 29 December 2022, at the age of 82, due to multiple organ failure, a complication of colon cancer.



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