Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as the legendary Pele, has passed away peacefully at the age of 82. Widely recognised as one of the greatest football players of all time, the legend died surrounded by his family on Thursday, 29th of December.
After a long fight with cancer, Pele breathed his last at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo. The unexpected news brought a number of reactions from people all around the world, as they remembered the only player to have won the World Cup three times.
A inspiração e o amor marcaram a jornada de Rei Pelé, que faleceu no dia de hoje.
Amor, amor e amor, para sempre.
Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.
Love, love and love, forever. pic.twitter.com/CP9syIdL3i
— Pelé (@Pele) December 29, 2022
Other football legends, like Neymar Jr and many more, took the time to post beautiful tributes on social media. Neymar posted a picture of “The King” along with the heartfelt caption: “Before Pelé, 10 was just a number. I’ve read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful, is incomplete. I would say before Pelé, football was just a sport. Pelé changed it all. He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave voice to the poor, to the blacks and especially, he gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He’s gone, but his magic remains. Pelé is forever!”
The legend’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, posted on her Instagram account a picture of their family with him during his last moments. The caption reads: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
A wake will take place on Monday, followed by a funeral on Tuesday in Santos, the southeastern Brazilian city where Pele played for most of his career. The city has declared a seven-day formal mourning period as fans flock to the team’s stadium to leave flowers as tributes to the legend.
A man with a God-given talent, his name will live on forever in the memories of many. May you rest in peace, Pele.
Puteri Teja contributed to this article.