Pele, who is the only player in history to win three World Cups has passed away at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil following a battle with cancer.
He was 82.
Known across the world as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele became an icon of the game after winning the World Cup in 1958 as a 17-year-old. He netted twice in the final to defeat hosts Sweden
Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today,” a statement on his organization’s website read. “On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love. His message today becomes a legacy for future generations.”
Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, who has been updates on her father’s health for the last two weeks hospital, wrote on Instagram: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
President William Ruto has also offered his condolences.
Pele made millions of young boys in the Global South to dream.
“His profile as a Global icon of sporting excellence and high athletic achievement was an inspirational model which encouraged young men to transcend their limitations and defy all economic, social, cultural and political barriers,” said the president.
“His legacy extends beyond the soccer pitch, the goals he scored and all his other exploits beyond soccer itself where his charisma and talent made wonderful things possible to authentic global leadership of a unique, talismanic kind,” said Ruto
May his soul rest in peace.