The second of the two greatest players in the history of soccer passed away today at the age of 82 in a hospital in his home country following a battle with cancer.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, was a Brazilian soccer player widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
He played for the Brazil national team and several club teams, most notably Santos FC, with whom he won numerous domestic and international titles, and at the New York Cosmos, where he ended his career and retired from soccer in 1977.
He began playing soccer at a young age and was signed by Santos FC at the age of 15. In 1956, he made his professional debut for Santos and quickly became one of the team’s stars.
Pelé’s talent and success on the field caught the attention of the Brazil national team, and he was selected to play for Brazil in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. At the age of 17, he became the youngest player to ever participate in the World Cup, and he played a key role in helping Brazil win the tournament. Pelé scored six goals in the tournament, including two in the final against Sweden, and was named the World Cup’s Best Young Player.
Throughout the 1960s, Pelé continued to play for Santos and the Brazil national team, winning numerous domestic and international titles. He scored over 1,000 goals in his professional career, a feat that has never been matched by any other player. In 1970, Pelé helped lead Brazil to its third World Cup victory, scoring four goals in the tournament and being named the Best Player.
After retiring, Pelé acted as an ambassador for soccer and worked to promote the sport around the world. In 2013, he was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur in recognition of his career and achievements. In 2020, he was named in the Ballon d’Or Dream Team, a greatest of all-time XI. He has received numerous accolades for his contributions to the sport.
Pelé may have passed away, but he’ll always have soccer immortality and remain one of the greatest players of all time.