Soccer icon Pelé has passed away at 82. News of the Brazilian football legend’s death made news on Dec. 29, 2022. The athlete, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, passed away at a Sao Paolo hospital after extended health struggles, as confirmed by his manager Joe Fraga to the New York Times. His physicians previously shared he was battling cancer and “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions.”
Pele was arguably one of the greatest soccer players to ever live, bringing his country its first World Cup in 1956, and then again in 1962 and 1970. During his 21 year professional career, he scored 1,283 goals over 1,367 professional matches, 77 of which were for Brazil’s national team.
Born in rural Brazil to parents Dondinho and Dona Celeste on Oct. 23, 1940, the origin of his childhood nickname is still up for debate. “Pelé” has no meaning in his native Portuguese.
But what was clear was his talent for the sport. As a teen he was recruited onto Bauru Athletic Club. After a stellar first season, he was welcomed to Brazil’s World Cup team in 1958 at just 17. The team took home their first Cup that year, winning again during the following tournaments in 1962 and 1970. During the 1966 World Cup in England, he was sidelined early in the tournament after being hit by a brutal kick.
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