Soccer legend Pele passes away at age 82

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Photo source credits : Pele's official Instagram account
Photo source credits: Pele’s official Instagram account

ANKARA, Dec 30: Brazilian soccer legend Pele has lost his fight against colon cancer and passed away at the age 82, his daughter, Kely Nascimento, announced Thursday on Instagram.

“Everything we are is thanks to you,” Nascimento wrote in a post on her official account. “We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”

Seen as the greatest player of all time and even named “the greatest” by FIFA, Pele helped Brazil win a record three World Cups, in 1958, 1962, and 1970, reported Anadolu Agency.

Over his distinguished career, Pele netted 77 goals in his 92 caps for Brazil.

Nicknamed ‘The Black Pearl’, he also holds the record for most career goals with 1,283 goals in 1,363 games, including friendlies.

Pele’s death triggered a flood of sorrow from the world of football.

Brazilian club Santos, where Pele enjoyed the peak of his legendary career, posted a picture of a crown accompanied by a single word: “Eternal”.

Apart from the English national team, many football clubs, such as Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona; English clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea; Italian sides Roma, Inter Milan, and Juventus; German clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund; Türkiye’s Galatasaray and Fenerbahce; and Greek basketball club Panathinaikos, offered their condolences following Pele’s demise.

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi shared a picture with Pele on his official Instagram account and wrote “Rest in peace”.

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo shared a picture of himself with the Brazilian legend while holding hands, attached with a long condolence message where he wrote that Pele will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in every football lover. Ronaldo wished the King rest in peace, a nod to Pele’s nickname.

“The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP KING,” French star Kylian Mbappe tweeted.

Former German midfielder Mesut Ozil said on Twitter: “Rest in peace to one of the greatest legends of the game.”

“Your legacy will live forever. I’m sure ‘Heaven FC’ with Maradona and Pele together will be invincible forever,” he added.

Another Brazilian legend, Ronaldo Nazario, wrote on his Instagram account, “Single. Great. Technician. Creative. Perfect. Unequaled. Where Pele arrived, he stayed. Never having left the top, he leaves us today. The king of football – one. The greatest of all time. (..) Thank you, Pele. Rest in peace.”

Many other famous figures around the globe also reacted to the Black Pearl’s passing, including French President Emmanuel Macron, former World Cup champion Cafu from Brazil, tennis legend Rafael Nadal, English players Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy, as well as Spanish players Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas. – TVS

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