Pelé, widely considered the greatest international soccer player of all time, died at the age of 82 Thursday.
The announcement came from Pelé’s daughter, who posted a message to Instagram that read, “Everything that we are, is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
In November, Pelé was hospitalized in Sao Paolo after experiencing respiratory issues which were reportedly due to colon cancer. Before that, Pelé had a colon tumor removed in January after which he began chemotherapy.
The family said he died peacefully.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé got his nickname from his own mispronunciation of his favorite Brazilain soccer player in the 1940s, who went by Bile.
His name became known worldwide not only because of his extraordinary play on the field on both a local and international level, but because of his vibrant personality that connected with the world.
A message was posted to Pelé’s social media accounts Thursday, written in both Portuguese and English, saying:
“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.
“In his journey, Edson charmed everyone with his brilliance in sport, stopped a war, performed social work around the world, and spread what he most believed to be the cure to all our problems: love.
“Your message in life will become a legacy for generations to come. Love, love and love forever.”
Pelé is Brazil’s all-time goal scorer, and to this day is honored in the soccer world, with the best player of most World Cup teams wearing the No. 10 in his honor.
After the announcement of his passing, the world reacted and paid tribute to one of the greatest athletes the world had ever seen:
Brazil has declared three days of mourning for Pelé.
The Christ the Redeemer was lit in Brazil’s colours as a tribute to him. pic.twitter.com/WAEOGTZyz2
— Brasil Football 🇧🇷 (@BrasilEdition) December 30, 2022
The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.
RIP KING 💔👑… pic.twitter.com/F55PrcM2Ud
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) December 29, 2022
Everything you see any player doing, Pelé did it first. RIP ⚽️🤴🏿 pic.twitter.com/SeW0z1hQTm
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) December 29, 2022
For a sport that brings the world together like no other, Pelé’s rise from humble beginnings to soccer legend is a story of what is possible.
Today, Jill and I’s thoughts are with his family and all those who loved him. pic.twitter.com/EkDDkqQgLo
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 29, 2022
🇧🇷Pelé’s FIFA World Cup Records
🏅Joint-most goals for Brazil national football team-77 (95 including unofficial friendlies)
🏅Highest goals-per-game ratio (0.84) for Brazil.
🏅Highest goals-per-game ratio (0.84) of any South American top international scorer.#Pele|#BRA pic.twitter.com/AujOyr5zsK
— FIFA World Cup Stats (@alimo_philip) December 30, 2022
We mark the passing of the legendary Pelé, known to many as the king of the “beautiful game.” This image of a spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor shows the colors of Brazil. pic.twitter.com/sOYfKdTeAJ
— NASA (@NASA) December 29, 2022
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