Pele, Brazil’s football legend, dies aged 82

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Pelé won the World Cup three times – the only player in football history to do so – scoring a joint record 77 goals in 92 matches for Brazil

Pelé, the Brazilian footballer who became one of the most iconic sportsmen of all-time, has died at the age of 82.

Family members had gathered at the Albert Einstein Israelita Hospital in Sao Paulo shortly before Christmas after news that his colon cancer had worsened and posted a series of pictures of their bedside vigil over recent days.

On Thursday Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento posted a picture on Instagram of what appeared to be Pele’s family’s hands on his body in hospital, with the words: “We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”

The hospital then said in a statement Pele died at 3.27pm local time (6.27pm GMT) “due to the failure of multiple organs as a result of the progression of colon cancer”.

As tributes poured in from across the world, a tweet from the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) read simply “King Pele”, accompanied by three crown emojis.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro declared three days of national mourning for Pele. The measure was announced in a decree published in an extra edition of the government gazette and signed by the outgoing president, who is set to leave office Sunday. 

Pele, Brazil’s football legend, dies aged 82
Legendary footballer Pele dies at the age of 82

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