Football legend Pele passes away at age 82

Fri, 30 Dec 2022 7:52 GMT
Daughter Kely Nascimento confirms 3-time World Cup winner's passing on Instagram.
Football legend Pele passes away at age 82

Brazilian Football legend Pele lost his fight against colon cancer and passed away at the age 82, his daughter, Kely Nascimento, announced Thursday on Instagram.

"Everything we are is thanks to you," Nascimento wrote in a post on her official account. "We love you infinitely. Rest in peace."

Seen as the greatest player of all time and even named "the greatest" by FIFA, Pele helped Brazil win a record three World Cups in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

Over his distinguished career, Pele netted 77 goals in his 92 caps for Brazil.

Nicknamed "the Black Pearl," he also holds the record of most career goals with 1,283 in 1,363 games, including friendlies.  

Reactions from clubs, players

Pele's death triggered a flood of sorrow from the world of football.

Brazilian club Santos, where Pele enjoyed the peak of his legendary career, posted a picture of a crown accompanied by a single word: "Eternal."

Many football clubs, including the English National Team; Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona; English clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea; Italian sides Roma, Inter Milan, and Juventus, German clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund; Türkiye's Galatasaray and Fenerbahce; and Greek basketball club Panathinaikos, all offered their condolences after Pele's death.

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi shared a picture with Pele on his official Instagram account and wrote "Rest in peace."

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo shared a picture of himself with the Brazilian legend while holding hands, along with a long condolence message attached. He wrote that Pele will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in every football lover. Ronaldo wished the King to rest in peace, a nod to Pele's nickname.

"The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP KING," French star Kylian Mbappe tweeted.

Former German midfielder Mesut Ozil said on Twitter: "Rest in peace to one of the greatest legends of the game."

"Your legacy will live forever. I'm sure 'Heaven FC' with Maradona and Pele together will be invincible forever," he added.

Another Brazilian legend, Ronaldo Nazario, wrote, "Single. Great. Technician. Creative. Perfect. Unequaled. Where Pele arrived, he stayed. Never having left the top, he leaves us today. The king of football - one. The greatest of all time. (..) Thank you, Pele. Rest in peace." on his Instagram account.

Many other famous figures around the globe also reacted to the Black Pearl's passing, including French President Emmanuel Macron, former World Cup champion Cafu from Brazil, tennis legend Rafael Nadal, English players Harry Maguire and Jamie, Vardy, Spanish players Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.


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