Pele: Brazil legend dies at 82 after battle with cancer
The former Santos and New York Cosmos forward was labelled "the greatest" by FIFA.
Brazil icon Pele, widely considered to be one of the best footballers of all time, has died at the age of 82 following a battle with cancer.
A three-time World Cup winner with Brazil, Pele holds a Guinness World Record for scoring 1,279 goals in 1,363 games across his career.
He was capped 92 times for Brazil and scored 77 goals, while at club level he managed 618 goals in 636 appearances for Santos.
Such a prolific record earned Pele the tag 'Athlete of the Century' from the International Olympic Committee in 1999, and he was also named alongside Diego Maradona as FIFA Player of the Century.
The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning
After his retirement, he worked in several ambassadorial roles and supported charitable causes including Action for Brazil’s Children and SOS Children’s Villages.
He is survived by his wife Marcia Aoki and his children Kelly, Jennifer, Edinho, Joshua, Celeste, Flavia and Sandra.
Born in Tres Coracoes, a city in southeast Brazil, Pele made his name as a precocious teenager both for Santos and the national team.
At 17 he became the youngest ever player to score at a World Cup in Sweden 1958, helping his country beat the host nation with two goals in the final.
Two more World Cup titles would follow, in 1962 and 1970, by which time Pele’s reputation as one of the greats was well-established.
His career was littered with honours: for Santos, he won six league titles and two Copa Libertadores.
Pele’s personal achievements were too many to list but included seven Ballons d’Or, one FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (1970) and 11 Golden Boots in Brazil’s top flight.
He also set a host of records, among them the most hat-tricks in world football (92), the youngest player ever to score a hat-trick at a World Cup (against Wales in 1958) and the most goals in a calendar year (127 in 1959).
After his indelible mark on football, Pele turned to humanitarian work later in life, establishing the Pele Foundation in 2018, an organisation which aims to empower impoverished and disenfranchised children around the world.