Pele, the Brazilian who has long been deemed the greatest footballer of all time, died at 82.
The legendary figure, a man who transcended his sport and was a global icon, learned that his colon cancer had advanced on December 21 and was told he would be kept in hospital over Christmas – with the iconic forward needing treatment for cardiac and renal dysfunction.
Previously he had been admitted to the hospital on November 30 with swelling all over his body and ‘decompensated heart failure’ before passing away a month after receiving palliative care.
Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, had been providing regular updates on her father throughout the month, with the world learning of his ill health before his death was confirmed on December 29.
The striker goes down as one of the greatest to ever play the game, having won three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He is Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 caps.
During his club career, he played nearly 700 games for Santos over 18 years between 1956 and 1974, scoring more than 650 goals. He left the club for New York Cosmos after lifting 25 pieces of domestic silverware.
Including friendlies, Pele netted 1,279 goals in 1,363 matches, recognised as a Guinness World Record. After two years in the USA, he hung his boots up for good in 1976.
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