The 82-year-old football great Pelé from Brazil passed away last December following a protracted battle with colon cancer. Pelé is still regarded as the “king of football” despite being among the most productive players during the era of the “beautiful game.” Generations later, Pelé’s extraordinary talent is still considered the benchmark for the sport he controlled for two decades. At 17, Pelé made his World Cup debut for Brazil in 1958. In the Final, Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2 thanks to two goals from the phenom.
Pelé scored 77 goals in 92 games for the legendary Brazilian team during his prime and was a key component of three World Cup-winning national teams. The now-iconic scene of the sport’s greatest champion being lifted off the field on friends’ shoulders marked Brazil’s 1970 World Cup victory. With 1,091 goals and 21 titles under his belt, Santos FC, a Brazilian club, was where Pelé spent most of his national career.
With 1,091 goals and 21 titles under his belt, Santos FC, a Brazilian club, was where Pelé spent most of his national career. When he joined the New York Cosmos of the NASL in 1975, won the NASL MVP award in 1976, and reignited America’s latent interest in football, Pelé became the highest-paid athlete in the world in his advanced years. There were speculations that Pelé received hospice care throughout the World Cup, but his family denied those claims. This time, his agent Joe Fraga verified his demise.
A few of his friendly contests added to Pelé’s legacy. When he played in Nigeria, the Biafran War was said to have a brief ceasefire called. To force him to play in a friendly match against Lebanon, a mob in Beirut attempted to kidnap him. He got praised everywhere in Asia, Africa, and Europe. He shared the distinction of being the first international Black sporting celebrity with Muhammad Ali while being a much less controversial person.