Pelé: A pillar of football falls

By Dylan Bettencourt

Loved and Lost: Pelé, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022)

Very few athletes will be remembered for transcending their sport to unprecedented levels.

Pelé is one of them.. 

Arguably the greatest footballer to ever grace the game, the Brazilian was one of a kind and decades ahead of his time. 

The 82-year-old had been unwell for some time, dealing with colon cancer alongside heart and kidney concerns. 

On the 29th of December tragic news sent shockwaves beyond the world of football. Pelé had passed away, his family confirmed on Thursday. 

“Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace,” the daughter of Pelé, Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram.. 

During his playing career, he scored over 1,000 goals. He won the Fifa World Cup in 1958 at the age of only 17.

If that was not impressive enough, the attacker guided Brazil to a historic back-to-back World Cup victory only four years later – becoming the first nation to do so. 

Eight years later Pelé made history again by winning his third World Cup, becoming and still being the only player to do so. 

Pelé is and was everything football was meant to be: fun, entertaining and most importantly beautiful. 

The former Santos player has long been believed to have coined the term “The Beautiful Game” and it could not be more fitting. 

While Pelé may not go down as the best player of all time, he will certainly go down as the most important player of all time. 

Pelé walked so players like Messi and Ronaldo could run; without Pelé football as a whole would not be what it is today. 

A giant has fallen – a fall that has been felt across the globe with even President Cyril Ramaphosa sending his condolences to the Pelé family. 

Ramaphosa said that Pele “not only filled football stadiums with exhilaration” but he also “filled hearts and homes with hope and the knowledge that adversity was surmountable”.

Pictured above: Pelé

Image source: @BSchweinsteiger


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