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Football King Pelé, Dies at 82

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Football King Pelé, 82, dies at 82, Rest In Peace

Football King Pelé Dies at 82.  Image of Football Legend - Pelé. Image Source - edition.cnn.com
Image of Football Legend – Pelé. Image Source – edition.cnn.com

Football king Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pelé, who was widely recognized as 1 of the all-time greats & the only player to win the FIFA World Cup 3 times, dies at 82 on Thursday. On November 29, the illustrious footballer, who was battling colon cancer, was hospitalized due to a respiratory issue. From his hospital bed, he supported the Brazilian squad during the recently finished FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais, near Três Corações, he was born on October 23, 1940. He became a global icon after helping Brazil win the 1958 FIFA World Cup for the 1st time. Pelé, who was still a teenager, scored a hat-trick against France in the Semi-Finals & added a brace against Sweden in the Final game to help the Seleção Canarinho win the 1st of their record-breaking 5 World Championships.

He participated in the team that successfully defended the title in 1962 before winning a 3rd World Cup in 1970, the year that Brazil famously overcame Italy in the Championship game. Throughout his career, he scored 12 goals at the World Cup. It’s only fitting that, throughout his career, Pelé led Brazil in goals scored with 77 goals in 95 games. Neymar, the current Brazilian sensation, equaled his record during the World Cup Quarter Final defeat earlier this month. Pelé passed away after being treated with chemotherapy for colon cancer. He was switched to palliative care after he stopped responding to treatment. In 2021, Pelé had a colon tumor removed & even then, he has been receiving chemotherapy. FIFA also referred to the Brazilian football player as “The Greatest”. Pelé had married 3 times. He had 7 kids in all.

Pelé’s World Cup Debut & Triumph

When Pelé made his World Cup debut at the age of 17 in 1958, the world first caught a peek at his incredible talent. He scored Brazil’s lone goal in the nation’s triumph over Wales in the Quarter Finals. He then scored a hat-trick against France in the Semi-Finals & 2 goals against host nation Sweden in the Final game.

Sigvard Emanuel “Sigge” Parling of Sweden commented, “I’ve to be honest & confess I felt like clapping when Pelé scored the 5th goal in that Final.” Pelé’s most memorable moment from the competition was putting his nation on the sporting map. In 2016, he said to CNN’s Don Riddell, “Everyone knew about Brazil when we won the World Cup.” “I believe that this was the most significant gift I could’ve given to my nation since, following the World Cup, we were globally recognized.” A 2nd World Cup triumph occurred in 1962. But Pelé missed the latter portions of the competition due to an injury. His subsequent campaign in 1966 was plagued by additional ailments as Brazil was eliminated after the group stage. But redemption came in 1970.

Pelé’s Last World Cup Participation, 1970

Image of Football Legend - Pelé after winning the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Image Source - aljazeera.com
Image of Football Legend – Pelé after winning the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Image Source – aljazeera.com

Carlos Alberto “Capita” Torres, also known as “O Capitão do Tri, the Co-Captain of Brazil said – “Pelé was stating that we were going to win & if Pelé was saying that, then we were going to win the World Cup.” This team, which included players like Jair Ventura Filho, better known as Jairzinho, Gérson de Oliveira Nunes, also known as Gérson, nicknamed Canhotinha de ouro, Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade, generally known as Tostão, Roberto Rivellino & Pelé, is thought to be among the best put together. Brazil’s 4 – 1 triumph against Italy in the 1970 World Cup Final featured what’s possibly the most celebrated World Cup goal of all time. A sweeping move featuring 9 of the team’s 10 outfield players.

Carlos Alberto hammered the ball into the bottom corner of the net after Pelé set him up to do so. Never has the Brazilian motto “jogo bonito” (the beautiful game) been more perfectly captured. In the 1970 World Cup Final & throughout the entire tournament, Pelé scored a goal of his own in the Final match & a total of 4 throughout the tournament. After his team was defeated in the Final game, Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich said, “Before the game, I said to myself that Pelé was simply flesh & bones. Pelé’s just like the rest of us. I realized later that I was wrong”. Pelé’s World Cup career was concluded by the competition, but not his time in the spotlight. He agreed to a $1.67 million contract with the New York Cosmos in 1975

GOAT Pele, 82, dies at 82 / Conclusion

It’s unknown exactly how many goals Pelé scored throughout his career. His Guinness World Records total has been under criticism because many of them were scored in unofficial contests. He complimented Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in March 2021 for surpassing his “record of goals in official matches,” which stood at 767. However, there’s little question that Pelé was and always will be football’s 1st international icon.

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