Brazilian football legend Pele, who many consider as one of the greatest ever to play the game, has died at the age of 82.
Pele’s agent Joe Fraga has confirmed to the Associated Press that he passed away earlier today (December 29) after a battle with colon cancer. The Brazilian had been in hospital over the Christmas period, and on Christmas Eve his daughter Kely Nascimento said: “Here we go, in the fight and in faith. One more night together.”
The three-time World Cup winning Brazil icon was admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital in late November – and reports emerged weeks later his condition was deteriorating. Images then emerged of Kely laying on the chest of her father, who has tubes from his body, shortly before he passed.
The World Cup icon was regarded by many as one of the greatest footballers of all-time and is the only player to have won the World Cup on three separate occasions as a player.
Beginning his professional career aged 15, Pele played for Santos, New York Cosmos and the Brazilian national team and is seen as one of football’s first ever global superstars. However, it was playing for the Selecao, Pele is most fondly remembered.
As an unknown 17-year-old, Pele burst onto the scene at the 1958 World Cup, inspiring Brazil to their first ever World Cup triumph, even netting twice in the final – becoming the only teenager to score in football’s biggest showpiece until Kylian Mbappe in 2018.Pele fell ill over Christmas
Pele won his second World Cup trophy four years later – but he would only feature in two games, injuring himself against Czechoslovakia when attempting a long shot.