Brazil’s ‘King of Football’ Pele died at the age of 82

Quick, agile, skilled with both feet and laser-like with his head, he helped Brazil win three World Cup titles.

Pele in 1969 (AP).

He was hailed as the King of Football, but it was Pele’s other nickname – Perola Negra, or Black Pearl – that best evoked the rare brilliance he packed into his diminutive frame. Pele, who had argued for decades to be the world’s most famous athlete, died in December. 29 in a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was 82.

The cause was complications from colon cancer, said manager Joe Fraga.

Pele has been famous in football for three decades and in the year Improvisation skills on the football field.

Pele made more than 1,300 appearances and scored many goals in his 22-year professional career, but he was never a one-man show. He saw the field the way a chess champion sees the board – two, three, four ahead – with tactical genius to pass to his teammates in order to better hit.

It was only 20 years old when the president of Brazil declared it an official national treasure. It was an honor and economic ban; He denied a move to a rich European club who wanted to pay more for his services. Pele was an asset too important for the national interest to export.

However, born and raised in poverty, the soccer champion commonly known as Edson Arantes do Nascimento was one of the first athletes to recognize the power and richness of his personal brand.

After retiring from Brazilian club Santos, the country’s top team in the 1960s, Pele turned his international profile to America, signing with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. In 1975, when he was in his mid-30s. The deal was reportedly brokered by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who was one of Pele’s staunch admirers and believed in the international goodwill generated by “the beautiful game.”

At an exhibition in Lagos in 1969, Pele’s art inspired a 48-hour ceasefire in at least one civil war, when Nigerians raised their hands to see their master.

What Pele, football’s namesake, meant to the beautiful game.

It wasn’t just Pele’s talent that crossed the line. So is his fame. He does not know the origin of his nickname. “Pele” doesn’t mean anything in Portuguese, but it was easy for a child to say and understand in all languages, Pele’s signature smile.

In the year As he said in a 2001 interview, “No matter where you go, there are three icons that everyone knows: Jesus Christ, Pele and Coca-Cola.”

Brazilian soccer player Pele died in December. 29 in 82. He helped Brazil win the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970. (Video: Dre Cornejo/Washington Post)

A year ago, world football’s governing body FIFA named Pele and Argentina’s Diego Maradona as joint players of the 20th century. The question of who was the game’s all-time great – Pele with three World Cup championships or Maradona with one championship in four World Cup appearances – has taken its toll beyond South America. It was an argument that offended Pele.

Pele did not hide that he lacked respect for Maradona, who was 20 years his junior.

However, Pele’s behavior off the field was not above reproach. He often had extramarital affairs and refused to recognize one of his daughters as his own, even though a DNA test proved he was her father.

For football stars who support Pele, there is no doubt who is the greatest. Get lost in another debate: was Pele invented for football or was football invented for Pele?

“Pele was the only footballer who exceeded the limits of logic,” Dutch great Johan Cruyff once said.

Pele, who grew up a Roman Catholic, said he remains a man of faith and sees his life’s work as fulfilling God’s destiny. However, that fate does not imply poverty, purity, or single-mindedness.

Peele saw wealth as power, and used his fame in sometimes dubious business endeavors. He has made and lost a fortune over the years and has been a player in video games, soft drinks, computer products and pharmaceuticals.

He rose from near poverty and was sometimes surprised by his humility and success.

“It is not easy to separate Edson from Pele psychologically,” he wrote in one of his biographies. “Pele took on a life of his own. He took over everything. Every time I take out my MasterCard, I feel the difference between Edson and Pele. On one side is a picture of me doing a bicycle kick with Pele’s signature and on the other side is my actual signature.”

But there was no ambiguity, there was no doubt about the talent behind the brand.

In 2000, Pele said, “In music, there is Beethoven and the rest. “In football, there is Pele and the rest.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in October 1940 in Tri Corases, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. His birth certificate is on the 21st, but it says October. 23 according to his birth.

He learned to play soccer from his father, João Ramos do Nascimento, a minor league player, who later in life got a job as a secretary of state. It is said that Pele’s upbringing was so difficult that he made soccer balls out of paper stuffed into socks or used grapefruit instead.

When Pele was 5 years old, his father joined a soccer club in Bauru, Sao Paulo, and moved his wife and three children there. To support his family’s meager income, Pele shined shoes as a child. But his love for football was so great and his lack of interest in education was so deep that he dropped out of school after the fourth grade and engaged in a short-term business of playing the game on the streets and becoming a cobbler.

Diego Maradona, a great football star and Argentinean, has passed away at the age of 60.

At 10, he began to receive coaching from Waldemar de Brito, a friend of his father and a former player of the Brazilian national team. Pele grew up fast. And with the introduction of De Brito, he signed his first professional contract with Santos at 15.

Pele was called up to the Brazilian national team at the age of 16 and made his World Cup debut at the age of 17, the youngest player to compete in the World Cup at the time. Pele scored six goals in the 1958 season; Among them, he scored a hat-trick in the semi-final against France and scored twice in Sweden’s 5-2 final win.

In the year He was no longer a teenage phenomenon when the 1962 World Cup was held in Chile. Despite his diminutive size, at 5-foot-8, Pele is widely regarded as the best player in the world. In the first match, he scored a goal in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Mexico, but ended the tournament with an injury. Brazil won the championship without him.

In 1966, Pele was injured again and Brazil could not defend their title.

Pele was 29 when the 1970 World Cup kicked off in Mexico. Pele scored the opening goal in Brazil’s 4-1 win over Italy in the final. “I told myself before the game,” said Italy’s Tarcisio Berginich, who defended Pele in the World Cup, “he is made of skin and bones like everyone else.” But I was wrong.

Goalkeeper Costa Pereira said the same after the Portuguese club lost to Santos in the 1962 Intercontinental Cup. “I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I left believing that I had been released by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of us,” Perera said.

In the year After retiring from Brazilian soccer in 1974 and reportedly $1 million in debt after bad investments, Pele signed a three-year, $2.8 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. Sports Illustrated reports that the league’s average attendance has risen to 80 percent since coming to the United States.

Pele led the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977. He played his final game—an exhibition match against Santos at Giants Stadium—half for the American club and the other half against his former Brazilian club.

Pele’s marriages to Rosemary dos Reyes Cholby and Asyria Lemos Seix ended in divorce. He has been in a romantic relationship for several years with Xuxa, who was 17 when they started dating in 1981. In 2016, he married business executive Marcia Aoki, 32 years younger.

Peele had at least six children between his marriages and other relationships, including daughter Sandra from a relationship with a housekeeper. Based on DNA evidence, Sandra successfully sued in a Brazilian court for legal recognition and also wrote a book titled “The Girl the King Didn’t Want.” She died of cancer in 2006.

His son, Edson “Edino” do Nascimento, a former Santos goalkeeper, was arrested in 2005 for money laundering and sentenced to 13 years in 2017. Live Santos was allowed to serve his sentence in an arrangement that allowed him to work on player development.

Complete details of the survivors were not immediately available.

Peele has written at least two biographies and has worked as an actor and essayist. In the year In 1992, he was elected as the United Nations Ambassador for Ecology and Environment. From 1995 to 1998, he was Brazil’s Minister of Sports.

Pele’s health problems worsened after age 65. He had eye surgery for a detached retina, a hip replacement and was hospitalized for a urinary tract infection.

At the age of 74, he signed a lifetime contract with Santos, which included a merchandise licensing deal that co-branded their hits.

Four decades after Pele hit his last competitive ball, he was still building a legacy that lifted a nation and the sport. In the new century. Artist Andy Warhol “Pele was one of the few who contradicted my theory,” he said with a smile after completing his silkscreen portrait of football’s greatness in the late 1970s. “He’ll have 15 centuries instead of 15 minutes of fame.”

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