Long Live Pelé

“King of soccer,” dies at age 82

Grace Hayag, Staff Relations Manager

Pelé and teammates celebrate their World Cup title win. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

Famous soccer player, Pelé, died at age 82. He was referred to by many as “the king of soccer” winning three World Cups during his career, which has never been done by anyone else before. His statistics are unmatched as he had up to a possible 1,281 total goals in his career.

It is reported that his death resulted from multiple organ failure. This was linked to the colon cancer he had been getting treatment for since 2021. 

His soccer journey began on the streets of Sao Paulo state. He would spend his time kicking a stuffed sock either filled with newspaper or rags. He played professionally for almost two decades on a Brazilian club, Santos, as well as the Brazilian national team. His style of play was unlike anything seen before and it is said that he “revolutionized the sport.” 

In 1958, he entered his first World Cup in Sweden as the youngest player ever at the tournament. He led his team to victory while scoring two goals in the final match resulting in a 5-2 win over Sweden to win the tournament that year. 

In 1962, he entered his second World Cup in Chile but was limited to only two games that tournament because of an injury. Brazil also won the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. He had both a goal and an assist in the final game against Italy to win the title that year.

Pelé will forever remain a legend in soccer history, recognized by his bright yellow Brazil jersey with the number 10 stamped on the back.