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International soccer legend Pele passes away at 82

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One of the greatest soccer players of all-time, Pele, has passed away at 82-years-old.

The Brazilian international had recently been hospitalized over the past month with multiple ailments and underwent treatment for colon cancer since 2021. Official news of Pele’s passing came from his Instagram page this afternoon.

A three-time FIFA World Cup winner, Pele broke onto the international scene with Brazil at the 1958 edition of the tournament, scoring twice in a 5-2 finals victory over hosts Sweden.

He also lifted the 1962 and 1970 World Cup trophies in Chile and Mexico respectively.

Pele began his youth career with Bauru in his native Brazil before joining Santos in 1956. He totaled 618 goals in 636 appearances for Santos over an 18-year spell with the club, winning 25 total trophies with the club.

He led Santos to six Brazilian Serie A titles and two Copa Libertadores titles, as well as two Intercontinental Cups.

Pele finished his career in the NASL with the New York Cosmos, winning the 1977 Soccer Bowl. He finished with 66 goals in 107 appearances with the Cosmos.

Following his playing career, Pele served in a number of different roles, including as Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister for Sport, an ambassador for UNESCO and the United Nations.

Comments

  1. RIP to the greatest I ever saw play. Will never forget seeing him in person playing for the Cosmos vs. Hartford Bicentennials in 1975 in the old NASL. In a rickety Dillon Stadium in a dodgy part of town (at that time) right next to a highway, the magic that was Pele thrilled an overflowing crowd and a young 19 year-old that had come to see a legend.

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  2. What a rich and powerful influence the man had on the world. I’m a 50 year old dude– I’m positive that without his playing in the NASL, I wouldn’t have loved soccer the way I have. Many people who grew up in the US during the 70’s and fell in love with the game can thank Pele.

    My club team played in the Dallas Cup in 1988, and during the opening ceremonies that year, a “special guest” made his way into the stadium in a convertible. All of the teams– hundreds of youth players from around the world were all gathered with their teams. And I will never forget the sight—- but the kids in the crowd just rushed toward the convertible. Inside — was Pele! The players COULD NOT CONTAIN themselves. It was an incredible scene. On that day as a part of his participation he made a speech, saying — “Pay attention to what I say young (boys), the future of the world belongs to you. The Sport is health, the Sport is life, the Sport… is LOVE!”. It was breathtaking—- as was the man that was Pele. R.I.P. – Black Pearl!

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      • Peterp— completely—- one of the reasons I remember the speech is because ESPN “Scholastic Sports America” did a spot on it — and had that part of the speech on their show. Actually—-some of my club teammates met Pele that year. They went down to the tourney early and got to hear him speak— I believe* he may have been doing something for Easter Seals in Dallas, at the time as well. Anyway— my buddies got their pictures with him and it was published in the old Soccer America back in the day (I believe Sigi Schmid was their as well). I texted some of them today about what they remembered about Pele. They were surprised at how small he was (we were 16 at the time), and one buddy talked about how “very charismatic” Pele was. He touched a lot of people around the world. And obviously was always a huge part of the modern game in our country!

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