Pele, the legendary Brazilian footballer who set a record by winning three World Cups, passed away on Thursday. Pele was one of the most influential sports stars of the 20th century.
The Brazilian people have been anticipating and dreading this moment for a while now. Kely Nascimento, Pele’s daughter, has been using Instagram to update his followers on his condition in recent weeks. “O Rei” (“The King” in Portuguese) admirers have been obsessively following every photo and tale.
It was nonetheless a major event when news of his death eventually broke. His multiple organ failure caused by colon cancer was confirmed by the hospital in a statement, but it wasn’t simply a medical bulletin; it also expressed sympathy for the family’s loss of “our beloved King of football” and expressed sympathy for everyone.
That shows how significant he was to Brazilians; while Pele is unquestionably a football hero around the globe, he was so much more to them.
He had been fighting colon cancer and kidney issues, and the latter required surgery in September 2021 and chemotherapy. His health had been deteriorating.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known by his stage name Pele, was born on October 23, 1940, in the city of Tres Coracoes in the southeast of Brazil. He grew up selling peanuts on the street to support his struggling family.
Thomas Edison, a famous American inventor, inspired his parents to name him.
However, because of his mispronunciation of Bile, a goalie of Vasco de Sao Lourenco, where his footballer father previously played, he was quickly given the nickname Pele.
Pele wowed audiences as soon as he was 15 and began playing professionally for Santos. In 1962 and 1963, he led the team to back-to-back Intercontinental Cup victories over Benfica and AC Milan, among other triumphs.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president-elect who will take office on Sunday, said he had the honour of watching Pele play, but he added that it wasn’t just “playing,” it was “a spectacle.”
He added that there was no other number 10 quite like him and that “few Brazilians took the name of our country as far as he did.”
Pele has personal significance for each Brazilian. He was remembered as a player by older generations, and stories about his extraordinary abilities were passed down to younger Brazilians, but he also brought this football-loving nation together.
This is a nation that uses football to define itself. Brazilians are permitted to watch their national team play at the World Cup. From his hospital bed, Pele was encouraging them and sending his best wishes. It is perhaps much more tragic that he passed away right after the competition he won three times.