On Thursday, the Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, known as the “King of the Game,” passed away. Pelé was one of the most dominant sports personalities of the 20th century, having won a record three World Cups. He was 82.
Since 2021, the epitome of “the beautiful game” has been enduring chemotherapy and radiation treatments for colon cancer. Because of the malignancy, he suffered from multiple organ failure, which led to his death, according to the medical facility where he had been treated for the previous month.
“Pelé was the catalyst for all the changes. Neymar, another Brazilian soccer star, wrote of Ronaldinho on Instagram that he “turned sport into art and entertainment.”
The funeral was scheduled to take place on Monday and Tuesday, and before the burial, his coffin was going to be taken through the streets of Santos, which is the seaside city where he started his legendary career.
Pelé, who is widely recognised as one of the best players in the history of soccer, spent almost two decades as the game’s most prolific scorer with the Brazilian club Santos and the Brazil national team. During that time, he won the hearts of fans and the admiration of his opponents.
The other players and onlookers were completely mesmerised by his elegance, agility, and fascinating manoeuvres. He choreographed a quick and fluid style that transformed the sport. It had a samba-like flare that embodied his country’s elegance when it was played on the field.
A journey that started on the slums of Sao Paulo state, where he would kick a sock packed with newspapers or rags, ended with him being a worldwide spokesperson for his sport. He was the one who brought Brazil to the heights of soccer and became a global ambassador for his sport.
Only the names of the late Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo are brought up when discussing the best players in the history of soccer. Pelé is not one of those names.
Pelé’s career goal tally has been reported to range anywhere from 650 (league matches) to 1,281 by a variety of sources, depending on the kind of games counted.
In the age of 17, the man who would become known as “The King” made his debut at the World Cup in Sweden in 1958. At the time, he was the youngest player to ever compete in the competition. After scoring two goals in Brazil’s 5-2 triumph against the home nation in the championship game, he was so injured that his teammates had to carry him off the field on their shoulders.
Pelé was the face of his country’s Global Cup victory in 1970 in Mexico, despite the fact that an injury forced him to participate in just two games during Brazil’s defence of their world crown in 1962. He scored the game-winning goal in the championship game, and he also provided Carlos Alberto with the assist that he needed to score the game-winning goal in Brazil’s 4-1 triumph against Italy.
Pelé was the first contemporary Black national hero in Brazil; nonetheless, he seldom spoke out against racism in a country where the majority of the wealthy and influential come from the white minority.
Monkey chants were used as a form of verbal abuse against Pelé by opposing crowds both at home and throughout the globe.
Angelica Basthi, another one of Pelé’s biographers, said that Pelé once told her that he would never play again if he were forced to stop every time he heard such cries. “He is vital for Black people’s pride in Brazil, but he never sought to be a flagbearer.” “He is key for Black people’s pride in Brazil.”
After retiring from soccer, Pelé pursued a variety of endeavours. He was a rich businessman, a politician (serving as Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister for Sport), and an ambassador for both UNESCO and the United Nations. He was also a politician.
He was in films, he was in soap operas, and he even created songs and made CDs of popular Brazilian music in addition to all of those things.