Brazilian football legend “black pearl” Pele passes away aged 82

Global sporting hero and Brazil's former sports minister popularly known as 'Pele' passed away in Sao Paulo on Thursday at the age of 82.

Global sporting hero and Brazil’s former sports minister, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as ‘Pele’ passed away in Sao Paulo on Thursday. He was 82 years old at the age of his death.

He rose from poverty to become one of the most well known sporting starts of the modern world. He had been recently going in and out of hospital after a tumour was found in his colon.

He went on to set a world record of 1,281 goals, and is the only player ever to win the World Cup three times.

His contribution was monumental in turning football into the world’s most popular sport. He had a career spanning seven decades as a player as well as ambassador of the sport.

Born on Oct. 23, 1940, in the small Minas Gerais town of Tres Corações, he learned the game from his father, a semi-professional player whose promising career was derailed by a knee injury.

Pele’s 1,281 goals in 1,366 games, as tabulated by FIFA’s website, came at a startling rate of 0.94 per match. Some of those were friendlies or came in games played as part of his military service, but he was just as prolific in official tournaments, with 757 goals in 812 games. In all, Pelé played 114 matches with Brazil, scoring a record 95 goals, including 77 in official matches.

Many popular footballers as well as other notable personalities expressed their grief as the news of Pele passing away became public.

 

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