Football Legend Pele Dies at 82; 'The King Was More Than The Greatest Ever'

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Brazilian football legend Pele, who was named Fifa's Player of the Century, died on Thursday at the age of 82. Pele, whose actual name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was suffering from kidney failure and prostate ailments.

The hospital in Sao Paulo where Pele was in treatment said the football legend died due to the failure of multiple organs, a result of the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous clinical condition.

The soccer legend was moved to an end-of-life care unit earlier this month after he stopped responding to chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer. According to reports in Brazil, the 82-year-old had been undergoing pain relief treatments in a facility for "end-of-life palliative care."

Pele
Brazilian soccer legend Pele Twitter

Pele is the only player in the world who lifted the world Cup three times -- in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches. For Brazil he scored 77 international goals in 92 matches. Pele played in four World Cups.

Though Pele planned to retire from football before the 1970 World Cup, his eventual parting from the game came only in 1977. Pele moved to New York Cosmos in 1975 after signing a $1.67-million contract with the American club. He led the club to the North American Soccer League championship.

"Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever," the football legend's Twitter account said following his death.

"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," the Brazil football federation said.

CNN reported that a wake for the departed great will be held at Vila Belmiro, the headquarters of the Santos FC in São Paulo state.

Pele was born in Três Corações near Rio de Janeiro in 1940. "I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint," Pelé famously said.

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