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His agent told the Associated Press that the three-time World Cup winner, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, died after he was hospitalized for the past month. In September 2021, he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
His daughter, Kelly Cristina Nascimento, shared a photo on Instagram with loved ones’ hands all holding Pelé’s by his hospital bed, with a caption honoring her father.
Pelé played a huge role in increasing the popularity of the sport across the globe, especially in the United States. He played professionally in Brazil for two decades, where he won three World Cup championships in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Later, he joined the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League in 1975.
Fans and athletes around the world respected Pelé and appreciate the impact he had on the sport.
Cristiano Ronaldo took to social media to remember the late athlete and share what an inspiration he was to so many. The Portuguese soccer player also expressed the love Pelé always showed him, saying his memory will always live on.
Former President Barack Obama honored the iconic athlete on social media, writing, “Pelé was one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game. And as one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, he understood the power of sports to bring people together. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who loved and admired him.”
Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt tweeted a tribute, saying, “A Sporting Legend. Rest in Peace King Pele”
“Today we lost an incredible athlete and a symbol of peace,” Professional boxer Nico Ali Walsh shared on Twitter, with a photo of his grandfather Muhammad Ali and Pelé together. “I want to give my best condolences to Pelé’s family and loved ones. These two friends can now meet again.”
Lionel Messi, who won his first World Cup in 2022, shared a carousel of photos on Instagram, with him and Pelé together.
Singer Burna Boy honored the later soccer star on social media, saying, “RIP Pele. A man with a strong legacy that will be remembered FOREVER. Legends Never Die they are always Remembered in the hearts of the People.”
Other Hollywood figures shared tributes on their respective Instagram Story, including Ryan Reynolds, Anitta and Brooklyn Peltz Beckham.
Read more tributes below.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek