The football world has been thrown into mourning following the death of Brazil legend, Pele.
The Brazilian legend passed away on Thursday, December 29, after battling colon cancer which left him hospitalized for a month.
Pele had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon in September 2021 at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, after the tumour was detected in routine tests. He was readmitted to the hospital in late November 2022.
The hospital confirmed that Pele died “due to the failure of multiple organs, a result of the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous clinical condition”.
The Brazilian Football Confederation said: “Pele was much more than the greatest sportsperson of all time.
“Our king of football was the greatest exponent of a victorious Brazil, who was never afraid when faced with difficulty. He promised his father a World Cup and he presented us with three.
“The King gave us a new Brazil and we are so thankful for his legacy. Thank you, Pele.”
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, became a global star when, aged 17, he helped Brazil win the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, forcing his way into the starting line-up by the knockout stages.
He scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Wales in the quarter-finals, a hat-trick against France in the semi-final, and two in a 5-2 triumph over the hosts in the final.
He is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career, including 77 goals in 92 matches for his country. Pele is also the only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962, and 1970, Pele was named Fifa’s Player of the Century in 2000.
Football clubs and countries around the world including notable figures have paid tributes to the legend.