- Pele was a world athletic icon.
- He acted in films and had at least 7 children.
- Pelé died on December 29, 2022, at the age of 82 after an extended illness.
Before there was Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, there was a Brazilian soccer superstar known simply as Pelé, 82. The man was one of soccer’s greatest players, and the sport was saddened to learn of his passing on Dec. 29, 2022, after a lengthy illness.
The official Twitter account for the late athlete took to the social media platform to release a formal statement about his passing. “A inspiração e o amor marcaram a jornada de Rei Pelé, que faleceu no dia de hoje. Amor, amor e amor, para sempre. . Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever,” the post read.
And later, former President Barack Obama, 61, took to Instagram to share a tribute post. “Pelé was one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game,” his caption began. “And as one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, he understood the power of sports to bring people together. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who loved and admired him.”
Ready to remember the soccer icon? Here are 5 things to know about the athlete.
1. Pelé Was A Winner
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Brazil, Pelé is a winner. As a forward on the national team, he helped bring the FIFA World Cup home 3 times to his country over the course of 3 decades of action.
2. Pelé Was A Movie Star
He starred in the 1980’s hit film Victory as a soccer player and soldier among other international movies. He has also had movies made about his spectacular life.
3. Pelé Was The Best
The man has won every soccer award, won every tournament and has scored more goals than any other player. While some may argue otherwise, true soccer experts say there is no one who will ever match his level of skill on a soccer field. He is the best that ever was or will be.
4. Pelé Loved The Bicycle Kick
It is a kick that he did not invent but certainly perfected and made famous. Pelé gets upside down and shoots the ball behind him during this extremely acrobatic feat. The kick always catches goalkeepers unaware as the ball soars by and into the net.
5. Pelé Was A Humanitarian
After his years on the field, he has dedicated himself to philanthropic work and bettering the lives of his fellow Brazilians. He is active with the charity organization UNICEF and many other children’s organizations.