Brazilian soccer legend Pele has died

Brazilian soccer legend Pele has died

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, died on Thursday at the age of 82, at the Albert-Einstein Hospital in São Paulo. Three-time world champion, the Brazilian will forever remain a legend of football and sports in general.

These back-and-forths between his residence in Guaraoja and the Albert-Einstein Hospital in São Paulo had foreshadowed the worst for some time. An inexorable thing happened on Thursday afternoon: Pele died of cancer at the age of 82. The information was confirmed to The Associated Press by its agent, Joe Fraga. The number of mourners is in the hundreds of millions.

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Long considered the best soccer player in the world, he has since been challenged by Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, but there will always be controversy, and Pele has undoubtedly left his certainty behind. The triple world champion (1958, 1962 and 1970) has always been keen to write his legend, and anyone who has seen the photos will soon realize that it is not just a statistical question. So it doesn’t matter whether he scored 800, 1000 or 1200 goals depending on whether you count friendlies, youth matches or even training, Pele has above all else marked the history of football and since it is the most popular of all matches in the world of sport as a whole .

When Deco became Pele

Edson Arentes do Nascimento was born in Tres Coraçoes, a small town located between Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, on October 21, 1940 (according to civil records) or October 23, 1940 (depending on the parish). He left the city with his family when he was two years old to settle in Bauru, in the state of São Paulo. The son of an amateur soccer player, Dondinho, he was first given the nickname Dico by his family: then he became “Pelé” when his father noticed that the child could not pronounce the name of Pele, the Vasco goalkeeper. de Gama, whom he called “Bale”.

1958 World Cup champion

After frequenting several clubs in his youth (Sete de Setembro, Canto do Rio, São Paulinho, Amériquinha and Bauru AC), he joined Santos in 1956 and started in his second season. 1957 also saw him reach selection but the talented man revealed himself to the football world by winning the 1958 World Cup. He was injured and lost the first two games against Austria (3-0) and England (0-0), but played the next four, scoring the winning goal against Wales in the quarter-finals (1-0), a hat-trick against France in the semi-finals (5-2) and a brace against Sweden in the final (5-2). ). It is clear that he was hailed as a hero upon his return to Brazil. Four years later, he won the World Cup again, but almost without playing: he was injured in the second match, and witnessed the victory of his compatriots as a spectator.

Ordeal in the 1966 World Cup “Dream Team” in 1970

His third World Cup in 1966 would have been his last. He was attacked by the Bulgarian Zichev in the first match of the group stage, and he did not play in the next match, and the Portuguese Joao Moraes tackled him hard during the third match, which is the elimination. The “king” left the World Cup injured and bruised. He took a step back with the choice to focus on his career with Santos. Having returned to selection since 1968, Pele participated in his fourth and final World Cup finals in 1970 in Mexico. General “Dream Team”. For the first time, football was broadcast live and in color from one continent to another via satellite. The icon participated, this time, in all matches, for the following record: four goals and six assists, notably Carlos Alberto’s fourth goal in the final against Italy (4-1).

The perfect striker

The team also crowned the title of Sportsman of the Century in 1981, when the Brazilian had retired barely four years earlier after three independent seasons in the United States, under the colors of the New York Cosmos, the history of soccer promotion, winning one last title and scoring a few dozen goals. But at Santos, between 1957 and 1974, Pele walked on water (six league titles and two Libertadores titles, among others).

A fidelity to the country that, before our eyes, is outdated by the 21st century, the time when, if everything does not happen in Europe, one day all the greats will pass there. This could, then, change the status of the king. However, if Pele is a legend, it is because he combined football before and after it, reconciling spontaneity with performance. Agile and powerful as any, he was the perfect striker, and perhaps the only one who could land a touchdown in modern football without needing an update. It’s just a fantasy, and today’s reality is much less joyful. Pele died, but he was immortal for a long time.

Minister of Sports 1995-1998

After the end of his career, Pele put his notoriety at the service of certain causes. He became an ambassador to the United Nations in 1977, but ten years ago, when he was still a player, the war between Nigeria and Biafra was interrupted for two days to attend a charity match organized by the Brazilian in Lagos. UNICEF Ambassador for Education, participated in drug prevention campaigns in his country. Between 1995 and 1998 he was Minister of Sports. A law bearing his name, adapted from the Bosman ruling in Brazil.

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