Global Face of Soccer Says Goodbye

Worldwide famous sports player Pelé dies


AP Images/Marcelo Chello

Brazilian soccer player Pele dies and leaves his fans holding on to memories. He passed away on Dec. 29, 2022 at age 82.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, died Dec. 29 after several weeks at a hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. Pelé was one of the most decorated soccer players and important figures in the 20th century. He was 82. 

 “When I found out he died I was quite sad,” freshman Gabby Lister said “I always thought he was an amazing footballer.”

 His death was confirmed by his manager, Joe Fraga. Pelé was hospitalized for over a month while going through colon cancer treatment. The hospital issued a statement that revealed the cause was multiple organ failures due to the cancer progression. 

 Pelé had been receiving treatment for cancer in recent years, and he entered the hospital several weeks ago to treat various health issues, including a respiratory infection.

 The President of Brazil announced three days of mourning and said in a statement that Pelé was “a great citizen and patriot, raising the name of Brazil wherever he went”. 

 On Jan. 3, a wake was held on the field of the stadium of Santos, his hometown club, where he was announced at the beginning of his career when he was only 18.

 The native Brazilian is considered a national hero and was loved worldwide. He traveled to many countries playing soccer and was the only player ever to achieve the mark of 1,000 goals, retiring with a final score of 1,297 goals, which provided him a spot in the Guinness World Records. He also won three of the five World Cups for the Brazilian National Team. 

“I know that Pelé had a larger-than-life personality,” JV girls soccer coach Brent Hutchins said “He inspired people with his passion for the game across the globe and helped bring a love of soccer to the U.S.” 

In addition, Pelé also won two Copa Libertadores, the South American cup, and two Intercontinental Cups, the annual tournament held by the best teams in Europe and South America. 

“I loved how he was so dedicated and was always trying to win the World Cup for Brazil,” freshman Ariana Rangel said “I think it’s great that he accomplished all of those things before passing.”

He retired in 1974, but a year later made a surprise comeback by joining the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League. 

“I’ve always been a huge soccer fan and he is definitely one of my idols,” junior Janeth Lopez said “I think it’s amazing how besides all his fame and the money he accomplished, he still managed to be a humble and lovely person. To me, that was the best part of him.”