The Brazilian footballer was a teenage phenom who rose to greatness during three consecutive World Cups had been fighting cancer.
International soccer legend Pelé’ died Thursday (Dec. 29), after a battle with cancer which he had suffered with since a Sept. 2021 diagnosis, CBS Sports reported. He was 82.
His daughter, Kely Cristina Nascimento, posted an Instagram message to his account confirming his passing.
She also posted an Instagram tribute to her father in Portuguese, saying: “Everything we are is because of you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Pelé was admitted to Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil on Nov. 29 to treat a respiratory infection and to decide on how to move forward with the chemotherapy treatment he had been receiving for the past year. But doctors said his cancer had progressed and he was also dealing with kidney and heart illnesses as well.
Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, and named “Player of the Century” by FIFA in 2000. (an honor he shared controversially with the late Argentinian soccer icon Diego Marodona), Pelé has remained one of the most recognizable athletes of the last several decades, representing the most popular spectator sport in the world.