Key Words: RIP Pelé: Brazilian legend remembered as the king of soccer 


“‘Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé.’”

That was the family of Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, sharing a statement on the footballer’s social-media pages after the sports icon, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, died on Thursday at age 82.

“On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love,” the family statement continued. 

Soccer stars and football fans around the world shared their love for the man they called “the king” and “the greatest of all time.”  

Pelé had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer since 2021 and was hospitalized last month with multiple ailments. 

Fans and fellow professional soccer players chose to remember Pelé as one of soccer’s greatest athletes: a three-time World Cup winner who served for decades as a global ambassador for the sport. 

Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo wrote on Instagram that “a mere ‘goodbye’ to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that the entire football world is currently embracing.”

He added that, “The love [Pelé] always showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared even from distance.”  

“The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten,” tweeted French forward Kylian Mbappé. 

English soccer player Geoff Hurst — the first man to score a hat trick in a World Cup final, in 1966 — tweeted that Pelé was “without doubt the best footballer I ever played against.” 

Soccer clubs also paid tribute.

After his death was announced, Pelé’s name, along with honorifics like “RIP Legend,” “RIP King” and “Greatest of All Time,” were trending on Twitter. 

Many sports journalists and news sites also shared footage celebrating Pelé’s achievements on and off the pitch. 

Pelé’s family wrote that they hoped his lifelong message would become a legacy for future generations: “Love, love and love, forever.”

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