Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, died on December 29, 2022 at age 82, after battling colon cancer for two years.
Pelé was a Brazilian soccer star, and commonly regarded as the best player of all time. Not only is he tied with Neymar for top Brazilian goal scorer, but he also boasts a record three World Cup championships. He averaged almost one goal per game throughout his lengthy career, an incredible statistic even for the world-renowned striker. While this was his specialty, his skill meant he could play any position with ease.
Pelé grew up in poverty, making money all through his childhood working in tea shops. In his free time, his father would pull out a handmade ball and the two would play together. Pelé began his budding soccer career in youth leagues, but quickly proved himself a valuable player on bigger, stronger teams. He was only fifteen when he started to play professionally and joined the Santos Football Club. Only a year later, he was invited to play nationally for Brazil.Pelé’s achievements expand beyond only records and championships. Not only was he awarded World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, but the International Olympic Committee voted him Athlete of the Century. His death will be mourned across the world as we remember not only his soccer expertise and amazing skill as a player, but as we acknowledge the millions of people he has inspired to pursue their dreams.