This is absolutely devastating news to Brazil, and the rest of the world.
His death was confirmed by his agent, Joe Fraga, according to the Associated Press. The reason for his death is currently unknown, though it was revealed in December 2022 that he was at a São Paulo hospital in palliative care. This came after reports of him no longer responding to the chemotherapy treatment he was undergoing for his colon cancer, which was diagnosed in September 2021.
After Pelé congratulated Argentina on winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup, his daughter revealed just days later that her father was still in the hospital through Christmas and was under “elevated care” related to his “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions.”
Brazil legend Pelé has died at the age of 82.
The original GOAT. A trailblazer. One of the finest players to ever lace up.
He will be missed by millions. pic.twitter.com/sZiiLLmCYF
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 29, 2022
“We decided with doctors that, for many reasons, it will be best for us to stay here, with all the care that this new family at [Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo] gives us,” his daughter Kely Nascimento said on Instagram. “We love you and we will give up an update next week.”
The word “legend” gets thrown around loosely nowadays, and I’m guilty of it myself, but Pelé really is a legend.
Pelé’s total goal count in his career is up for debate, but no matter what the true count is, it’s clearly iconic. Pelé is at 1,281 goals, while Guinness World Records has him at 1,289, according to FIFA’s official website. As you see, no matter what the tally actually is, it’s something that you usually only see on the FIFA video game. (RELATED: ‘U-S-A’ Chants Rain Down On Christian Pulisic In First Game With Chelsea Since FIFA World Cup)
Just absolutely incredible what Pelé was able to do in his career, and it doesn’t stop there, he’s got a crap load of trophies on his resume, including three FIFA World Cups and six Brazilian championships, according to Transfermarkt.
Honestly, this man is more than a legend. He’s soccer royalty. He’s a soccer god.
You will truly be missed, Pelé. Rest in peace.