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  • Writer's pictureSportFM

Pele, World football icon dies age 82

Three-time World Cup winner and arguably the greatest player to take the field, Pele has died.


Pele, who's given name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, passed away in the early hours of the morning local time in Albert Einstein hospital, Sao Paulo due to organ failure caused by colon cancer.


He was admitted to hospital in November for cancer treatment.


In a incredible career, Pele scored in official records 1,279 goals from 1,363 games which could be challenged but his talent and sheer brilliance could never be questioned.


Pele was the only man who win the World Cup on three seperate occasions. His first as a 17-year-old in 1958 in Sweden, followed by Chile in 1962 and his third in Mexico in 1970.


The 82-year-old was named "Athlete of the Century" by the International Olympic Committee, co-"Football Player of the Century" by world soccer body FIFA, and a "national treasure" by Brazil's government.

His daughter Kely Nascimento confirmed his passing on social media.


"On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love," it said.


Tributes have poured in from all over the globe as the news of his passing came to light.


Over the journey those in the game have described the feats of Pele.


"I sometimes feel as though football was invented for this magical player." -- Sir Bobby Charlton, retired England great who won 1966 World Cup and Ballon d'Or in same year.


"This debate about the player of the century is absurd. There's only one possible answer: Pele. He's the greatest player of all time, and by some distance, I might add." -- Retired Brazil star Zico.


IMAGE: NBC

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