Edson Arantes do Nascimento – better known around the world as Pelé – is dead. The former Brazilian footballer died in São Paulo on Thursday after a long illness at the age of 82. He has been in the hospital since November 29, which announced a few days ago that his cancer was progressing. According to the hospital, Pelé died of “multiple organ failure”.
His daughter had recently published photos from the hospital room and prepared the football world for an imminent death. With Brazil’s national team, Pelé was crowned world champion three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970. The striker is still the most successful World Cup tournament player in history. With FC Santos, for which Pelé played for 17 years, he won a total of 26 titles.
But above all, his successes in the “Seleção”, as the national team is called in Brazil, ensured that the whole country loved and admired him, despite all the rivalries between regions and clubs. Because Pelé was considered the creator of the “jogo bonito”, the beautiful football game. Only after his career did he dare to go abroad, also because of his financial problems. The advertising character Pelé, which worked to the end, was born at that time.
The international press writes about the death of Brazilian soccer legend Pelé:
The globe: “Pele has passed away, the immortal king of football. Symbol of a sport, two jerseys and a country, the greatest player in history has left us, a victim of cancer. But Pelé and his myth are still alive.”
Newspaper: “Pele showed the power of sport and pushed fame to new frontiers.”
State of Sao Paulo: “Football has lost its king. Pele died calmly, peacefully and calmly, just as he always behaved towards defenders and goalkeepers trying to stop his goals.”
Scoreboard: “As of today, Edson Arantes do Nascimento no longer plays. Pelé continues – the legend is forever.”
The Tribune (Saints): “Pele: unique, legendary and eternal. Adeus, king. Nothing will be the same without Pele’s presence.”
Ole: “Regardless of the rivalry between Argentina and Brazil, no one can doubt that Pele was one of the greatest footballers in history, for many the best ahead of Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.”
Clarin: “An overarching symbol of spectacular football. A great among greats.”
The nation: “The football artist who took Brazil to the top of the world and decided to sit there. News of his death sped around the world at supersonic speeds, reflecting the greatness of a personality who has transcended the confines of his ambience, football.”
„New York Times“: “Pelé was a national hero in his native Brazil and loved around the world – by the poorest he grew up among, the richest he was part of, and just about everyone who ever saw him play.”
„Washington Post“: “There was only one Pele. Aside from his unequaled three world titles, his creative, acrobatic play, love of football and infectious joy made him a global icon.”
„Daily Mirror“: “Seeing Pelé in full swing was the most beautiful sight in football long before that adjective defined the game. Even today, his name not only stands for beauty, but also for excellence, breathtaking ability and the highest level of sportsmanship. Long before Maradona, Ronaldo and Messi, there wasn’t even a debate about the greatest footballer of all time. Every fan knew it was Pelé and they adored him.”