By Spy Uganda
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known mononymously as Pelé, a Brazil football legend and one of the greatest players of all time, has died at the age of 82.
The former striker, who is the only player in history to win three World Cups, passed away at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo following a battle with cancer.
Pele, who is Brazil’s joint all-time top scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches, became an icon of the game after winning the World Cup in 1958 as a 17-year-old, netting twice in the final to defeat hosts Sweden.
A message from Pele’s official Twitter account on Thursday read: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever.”
Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, who has provided updates on her father’s health from hospital, wrote on Instagram: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Throughout his career, he scored 1,282 goals in 1,366 games, which included 77 in 92 appearances for his country.
The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, standing atop the Corcovado mountain above the city of Rio de Janeiro, was illuminated in green and yellow, colors of the national flag, to honor Pele.
Elsewhere in the world the tributes flooded in as the facade of Conmebol’s headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, displayed a photo of Pele along with the national badge of Brazil.
The Wembley arch at England’s national stadium was also lit up Thursday evening. The famous London landmark and England’s ‘home of football’ paid its respects to the three-time World Cup winner by illuminating the arch in the famous green and yellow of Brazil.
Pele was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on November 29.
He had suffered from kidney and prostate problems since surgery to remove a tumor from his colon in September 2021.
Pele’s body will be taken from the Albert Einstein Hospital to the Urbano Caldeira Stadium in Vila Belmiro at dawn Monday and his coffin will be placed in the center of the pitch.
Anyone who wants to say goodbye to the ‘King of Football’ will enter through two gates and separate to politicians and the authorities.
The ceremony will continue until 10am on Tuesday, January 3, when the parade will take place through the streets of Santos to the Ecumenical Necropolis Memorial where his burial will take place.