Thiago Silva labelled Pele as "forever the king of football" as tributes flooded in from Brazil players after the Selecao great's death on Thursday.

The three-time World Cup winner suffered multiple organ failure after being moved to palliative care in Sao Paulo earlier in December when his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

Sao Paolo's Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital confirmed the cause of the 82-year-old's death before tributes poured in from players, clubs and sporting organisations.

Pele helped Brazil to World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970, with no player in the tournament's history winning more, and the likes of Silva and Casemiro joined in sharing their memories of the former forward.

"Forever the king of football, the Legend!," Chelsea centre-back Silva posted on Twitter alongside a crown emoji. "Rest in peace, Pele. You have changed the history of football.

"Your legacy will always be in our hearts. Thanks for everything!"

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro, who played alongside Silva as Brazil fell to World Cup quarter-final elimination in Qatar, echoed a similar sentiment.

"Rest in peace, king Pele. Thank you for the glory you gave to Brazil and football. Your legacy is eternal," he wrote on social media.

Casemiro's United team-mate Antony labelled Pele as an "example", posting: "The biggest of all! The king, the inspiration, the example, the only one, the ETERNAL!!"

Pele's 77-goal international haul remains a benchmark among Brazilian players, though Neymar matched that record with his World Cup quarter-final strike against Croatia in Qatar.

That scoring form from the former Santos forward inspired numerous current Brazil stars, with young Real Madrid forward Rodrygo recalling the tales told of Pele.

He wrote on Twitter: "What a sadness! 12/29 from today will always become a sad date. We grew up in Santos hearing people talk about you every day, how good you were at playing and as a person. 

"Thank God I had the opportunity to meet you in person…"

Richarlison, who excelled as the central striker for Brazil on the global stage in Qatar, added: "Today, football says goodbye to its most beautiful chapter.

"From the guy who dedicated his thousandth goal to children, stopped wars and showed an entire country that he could do more. You are and always will be matchless and eternal, King.

"Thank you and may God welcome you with open arms."

Kylian Mbappe has led tributes to Pele from a plethora of football stars past and present following his death on Thursday, with the France forward saluting the late Brazil forward and a legacy that "will never be forgotten".

The three-time World Cup winner passed away aged 82 following a battle with colon cancer, sending the football and wider sporting world into mourning.

Pele, a 77-goal Selecao star who remains one of the game's all-time greats, was the only teenager to score in a World Cup final until Mbappe did so at Russia 2018 four years ago.

Now, the 23-year-old has paid his respects to the 'king of football', highlighting his achievements as having helped to define the sport.

"The king of football has left us, but his legacy will never be forgotten," Mbappe wrote on Twitter.

Mbappe's PSG team-mate and Spain international Sergio Ramos also offered his tribute, adding: "To say he was a legend is an understatement. Football will always remember you."

Barcelona and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski said "heaven has a new star" in his post reflecting upon Pele's legacy, a sentiment shared by former Germany international Mesut Ozil.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland argued that "everything you see any player [do], Pele did it first", while Wales forward Gareth Bale suggested the Brazilian was "the reason so many of us love football".

Former England international and 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker called him "the most divine of footballers and joyous of men", adding that Pele has secured "footballing immortality".

Cristiano Ronaldo has paid tribute to late Brazil legend Pele following his death aged 82, arguing "a mere goodbye" is not enough for the three-time World Cup winner.

Pele's death was confirmed by his daughter on Thursday following a battle with colon cancer.

His death has sparked an outpouring of grief across football, with players and clubs from all over the world paying respects to the attacker, who fired his country to glory at the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups.

Now Ronaldo, often considered among the game's all-time greats himself, penned his own heartfelt tribute to the former forward.

"My deepest condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Mr Edson Arantes do Nascimento," he wrote on Instagram.

"A mere goodbye to the eternal King Pele will never be enough to express the pain that currently embraces the entire world of football.

"[He was] an inspiration for so many millions, a reference from yesterday, today, forever. The affection he always showed for me was reciprocal in every moment we shared, even from a distance.

"He will never be forgotten, and his memory will live on forever in each of us football lovers. Rest in peace, King Pele."

Neymar lauded Pele for turning "football into art" and changing the face of the sport forever after the Brazil great's death.

The 82-year-old had been moved to palliative care in Sao Paulo early in December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment, with a hospital report on Thursday confirming his death after multiple organ failure.

A flood of tributes swiftly followed across the world of football to the three-time World Cup winner, who is widely regarded to be one of the greatest to ever grace the game.

Neymar hailed Pele for leaving a lasting impact on football, which was "just a sport" before his remarkable career that "gave visibility to Brazil".

"Before Pele, 10 was just a number. I've read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful, is incomplete," Neymar wrote on social media.

"I would say before Pele, football was just a sport. Pele has changed it all. He turned football into art, into entertainment. Gave voice to the poor, blacks and mostly: gave visibility to Brazil.

"Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He's gone but his magic remains. Pele is FOREVER!!"

Neymar and Pele both share the record for the most goals for Brazil with 77, the former having equalled the long-standing tally with a World Cup quarter-final strike against Croatia in Qatar.

Pele remains "eternal" and will be remembered as "the greatest athlete of all time", Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues said after the 82-year-old's death.

The three-time World Cup winner's passing was confirmed on Thursday by his daughter after his battle with colon cancer.

Former forward Pele had been moved to palliative care early in December and his family travelled to be by his side at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo before Christmas Day.

The hospital confirmed Pele died after suffering multiple organ failure.

Tributes have poured in from players, clubs and sporting organisations after Pele's legendary impact on football, with Rodrigues declaring official mourning for seven days.

"I am deeply moved by Pele's departure. The CBF will pay all possible tributes to the greatest athlete of all time," a CBF statement from Rodrigues read. 

"Pele is eternal and we will always work to preserve his history and perpetuate his legacy."

Pele helped Brazil to World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970, with no player in the tournament's history winning it more than him.

His 77-goal haul at international level is yet to be surpassed by a Brazilian player, though it was matched by Neymar with his World Cup quarter-final goal against Croatia at Qatar 2022 this month.

Pele left a lasting legacy at Santos as well, scoring 643 goals in 659 matches over an 18-year period, and Rodrigues recalled first seeing the legend in action.

"I still remember today the emotion of seeing Pele in action in Ilheus when the city's national team faced Santos in 1967," he added. 

"I was only 13 years old and I was impacted. He scored one of the goals. Two years later, I travelled to Salvador to watch his 1,000th goal, which ended up not happening. 

"Nildo took the goal almost on the line. Practically the entire Fonte Nova and I booed the Bahia defender. Three days later, the King scored his 1,000th goal in Rio against Vasco."

Pele has been hailed for his work on and off the field following his death at the age of 82.

The Brazil great's passing was confirmed by his family on Thursday following a period in hospital, where he was moved to palliative care early in December.

Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Pele remains the only player to have won the World Cup three times in a legendary career spanning 21 years.

Pele's death led to widespread tributes on social media, not least on his own official accounts.

A message posted on the former Santos and New York Cosmos forward's Instagram account, thought to be run by close family members, read: "Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele,

"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."

Pele, full name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, finished his playing career with New York Cosmos in 1977 and later lent his name and influence to many charitable initiatives.

His daughter Kely Nascimento had earlier paid her own heartfelt tribute in a message accompanied by a photo of her and other family members holding Pele's hands.

"Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace," she wrote.

Pele's cause of death has been confirmed as multiple organ failure as a result of the progression of his colon cancer.

The Brazil great and three-time World Cup winner died on Thursday at the age of 82, with his daughter confirming his passing on Instagram.

He had been moved to palliative care early in December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

Before Christmas Day, his family travelled to be by his side at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo.

Following Pele's death, the hospital subsequently released a medical report that read: "The Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein confirms with regret the death of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé, today, December 29, 2022, at 3:27 p.m., due to multiple organ failure, a result of the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous clinical condition.

"The Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein sympathises with the family and all who suffer from the loss of our dear King of Football."

Pele is the only man to have won the World Cup three times, having helped the Selecao to World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

His first World Cup triumph in 1958 came when he was just 17 years and 249 days old, making him the youngest player to win it. Pele scored in the showpiece game – no one younger has ever netted in a World Cup final.

Pele's 77 goals at international level remain a record for Brazil, though one he shares with Neymar, who equalled the tally at this year's World Cup.

Santos and the Brazil national side both paid brief but fitting tributes on social media following the announcement of the death of Pele at the age of 82.

The Selecao great and three-time World Cup winner had been in hospital for palliative care in early December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment, and his daughter confirmed his death on Thursday.

News of Pele's passing sent shock waves across the world of football, but nowhere would the impact be felt stronger than at Santos – a club where he spent 18 years, scoring 643 goals in 659 matches.

Pele lifted six league titles with the Brazilian side, including five in a row from 1961-1968, as well as the Copa Libertadores twice.

On the international stage, Pele scored 77 goals for Brazil, a record that still stands today but is likely to eventually be broken by Neymar, who pulled level at the World Cup in Qatar.

In a short but powerful tribute to the man many regard to be the greatest ever, Santos posted a picture of a crown with just a single word 'eterno' – eternal.

The CBF's Twitter account followed suit, sharing an image of Pele alongside the caption of 'eterno' but adding an infinity symbol instead of 2022 as the year of his death.

England great Geoff Hurst labelled Pele as "the greatest of all time" after the Brazil legend's death was confirmed on Thursday.

Pele, a three-time World Cup winner, had been moved to palliative care early in December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

The 82-year-old's daughter announced his passing after his family travelled to be by his side at Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital before Christmas Day.

Tributes have flooded in for the footballing icon after he left a lasting legacy on Brazil and Santos, for whom he scored 643 goals in 659 matches over an 18-year period.

England's 1966 World Cup winner Hurst, who was the only man to score a hat-trick in the final of the tournament before Kylian Mbappe at Qatar 2022, believes no player compares to Pele.

"I have so many memories of Pele, without doubt the best footballer I ever played against (with Bobby Moore being the best footballer I ever played alongside)," Hurst wrote on Twitter. 

"For me, Pele remains the greatest of all time and I was proud to be on the pitch with him. RIP Pele and thank you."

Pele dies aged 82

December 29, 2022

Pele, the Brazil great and three-time World Cup winner, has died.

The 82-year-old had been moved to palliative care early in December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

Before Christmas Day, his family travelled to be by his side at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo.

His death was confirmed by his daughter on Thursday.

"Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace," Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram.

Pele was regarded by most as one of the greatest players in the history of football, leaving an indelible legacy after a career that lasted 21 years.

He played the majority of his club career at Santos, for whom he scored 643 goals in 659 matches over an 18-year period. He also represented the New York Cosmos between 1975 and 1977.

But it was his impact for Brazil that truly cemented his status as a sporting icon and all-time football great.

He helped the Selecao to World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970, with no player in the tournament's history winning it more than him.

Pele's first World Cup triumph in 1958 came when he was just 17 years and 249 days old, making him the youngest player ever to win it. He also scored in the showpiece game – no one younger has ever netted in a World Cup final.

That was one of 77 goals at international level, a haul that still has not been overhauled by a Brazilian player, with Neymar just two behind.

After his retirement, Pele lent his name and influence to many charitable initiatives and will be remembered as arguably the greatest World Cup player of all time.

There is perhaps no sporting debate that captures the imagination like that concerning the identity of football's greatest ever player.

The incredible goalscoring feats of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo put them at the centre of the discussion, but what about the greats of yesteryear? 

Does the cunning of Diego Maradona or the ingenuity of Johan Cruyff make one of them the best to have played the world's most popular sport?

The ultimate reference for all those iconic players, however, is Pele. The only player to have won three World Cups, the ultimate personification of "o jogo bonito".

With tributes flooding in after the Brazil icon passed away at the age of 82, Stats Perform delves into the Selecao star's incredible career, asking how it compares to those of the game's other greats.

Pele: The World Cup's finest

While any debate over the greatest player of all time will always be subjective, nobody can deny Pele his status as the ultimate World Cup legend.

His introduction to the global stage came at the 1958 tournament in Sweden, where Brazil exercised the demons of 1950 – when they lost the final on home soil to Uruguay in what became known as the "Maracanazo" – to clinch their first title.

A 17-year-old Pele missed Brazil's first two games at the tournament, but the Santos youngster quickly made the Selecao's number 10 shirt his own after coming in for a 2-0 win over the Soviet Union.

From there, he went from strength to strength, scoring his first World Cup goal against Wales before helping himself to a hat-trick against France in the semi-finals.

As Brazil overcame the hosts 5-2 in a thrilling final, Pele – at the age of 17 years and 249 days – scored twice. Only one other teenager has ever netted in a World Cup final – Kylian Mbappe in 2018.

 

As if one outstanding World Cup campaign was not enough, Pele was key to further Selecao triumphs in 1962 and 1970 – assuming a talismanic role in what many consider to be the greatest international team in history at the latter tournament.

Pele's tally of six assists in Mexico remains the highest tally recorded at a single World Cup since records began four years earlier, and his nonchalant lay-off for Carlos Alberto to finish off a flowing team move in Brazil's final win over Italy remains one of the most iconic moments in the tournament's history.

While modern-day detractors may point to Pele's failure to test himself in Europe, his incredible record on the grandest stage of all dictates that he is remembered among the very best, and there can be no doubt as to his unmatched World Cup legacy.

Johan Cruyff: The innovator

If Pele's legacy can be measured in World Cup accomplishments, Cruyff's must be examined in a very different way.

Cruyff's unbelievable tally of 36 chances created at the 1974 World Cup may be a single-tournament record, but it was not enough for the Netherlands to avoid the first of their three final defeats at the competition.

Eight Eredivisie titles, three European Cups and one LaLiga triumph as a player does not exactly do justice to the career of football's great innovator, the man considered responsible for "total football" and by extension, every free-flowing Barcelona or Ajax team that has followed.

If Pele's is best remembered as the World Cup's greatest player, perhaps Cruyff deserves the title of football's finest pioneer.

Diego Maradona: The individualist 

No conversation about football's greatest could be complete without a mention of Maradona, the man who almost single-handedly carried Argentina to football's greatest prize with a perfect blend of skill and cunning.

Astonishingly, Maradona claimed five goals and five assists as Argentina won the 1986 World Cup – a feat no other player has accomplished since detailed data collection began in 1966.

Maradona's quarter-final brace against England, perhaps the most iconic double in history, encapsulated his on-pitch personality perfectly – a mischievous first goal being followed by a truly remarkable second.

Maradona's tendency to carry unfancied sides to success was replicated on the club stage, with his two Serie A triumphs with Napoli earning him a level of adulation that will perhaps never be matched.

A beaten finalist in 1990, not even El Diego could match Pele's World Cup exploits, but the Argentine carved out a reputation as football's finest individualist. 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo: The big-game player

Like Cruyff, neither of the final two players on our list have made their greatest impact at the World Cup, but the incredible goalscoring feats of Ronaldo ensure his place among the game's legends.

In the Champions League – arguably the true pinnacle of the modern game – no player can match Ronaldo's total of 140 goals.

Ronaldo – who scored his 700th goal in club football earlier this season – has also lifted the Champions League trophy on five occasions – a tally no other player has bettered.

The 37-year-old started off the 2022 World Cup by becoming the first male player to net in five different editions of the tournament, though he ultimately ended it in disappointment, making just 10 touches after coming on as a substitute in Portugal's quarter-final defeat to Morocco.

He has been the ultimate big-game player. Whether he is anymore is clearly up for debate. 

Lionel Messi: The Magician 

While some may prefer the efficiency and athleticism of Ronaldo, there is no sight in modern football as joyous as that of Messi slaloming through panicked defences.

Seven Ballon d'Or wins tells you all you need to know, Messi's army of fans may say, while Pep Guardiola's revolutionary Barcelona side – considered by many as the best team to ever take to the field – was built to accommodate the Argentine's incredible mix of elite finishing, dribbling and passing skills. 

 

Until the last two years, the only major blot on Messi's career was a perceived failure to replicate the feats of Maradona, with the expectations of the Argentinian public often seeming to weigh heavily upon the shoulders of the diminutive attacker.

However, having helped the Albiceleste end a 28-year wait to win the Copa America in 2021, Messi then contributed seven goals and three assists to mirror Maradona's achievement of leading Argentina to World Cup glory, with the Paris Saint-Germain forward's campaign in Qatar already regarded as one of the greatest in the tournament's rich history.

While the sight of Messi lifting the World Cup trophy at the Lusail Stadium caused some to declare any debate regarding football's greatest player to be over, the forward's age dictates he will not get the chance to equal Pele's feats on the game's grandest stage.

Everyone has a different opinion on what makes a player the greatest in history, be it their style, their goal record, or their impact on subsequent generations.

The role of football's greatest tournament will always be pivotal, however, and on that basis, Pele will always have a place among the legends of the game.

Pele was football's ultimate fox in the box, a player who dealt in quantity as much as quality, whose eye-popping career statistics alone marked him out as one of the greats.

Footage is scarce of peak Pele, the player who emerged as a teenage sensation in the late 1950s and shone on the world stage for almost 15 years. That which is available shows a nimble forward with a devastating finish.

The Brazil great became as globally revered as The Beatles and Muhammad Ali, who became peers of his, and Pele's death at the age of 82 has sent a shudder through the sporting world.

Those who saw him in action speak of a player who took football to a new level, leaving tormented defences in his wake as he set record after record.

Here, Stats Perform has picked out five games that underlined the greatness of the man born Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

 

1958: World Cup semi-final, Brazil 5-2 France

The World Cup would never be the same after the 17-year-old Pele took the tournament in Sweden by storm.

He hit a hat-trick in the semi-final against France, feeding off scraps for his first two strikes, both of which came from close range, before rattling in a stunning third.

Pele took a pass in his stride on the edge of the penalty area, and as the ball looped up he sent a rasping strike from 18 yards into the bottom-left corner.

He would hit seven hat-tricks for Brazil across his career, but this was the first, carrying the Selecao through to a clash with the hosts.

1958: World Cup final, Brazil 5-2 Sweden

After the semi-final heroics, it turned out that Pele had a pretty good encore to come.

Vava's first-half double put Brazil 2-1 ahead, but the final will be largely remembered for Pele's majestic strike that increased that lead early in the second half, when he flicked the ball over a defender at close quarters in the penalty area before volleying past goalkeeper Kalle Svensson. It was pure artistry, a teenage master at work.

It made Pele the youngest scorer in a World Cup final, at 17 years and 249 days old, and for good measure the teenager put the seal on victory with a late header, completing a double for a tournament haul of six goals.

Just Fontaine's incredible haul of 13 goals for France made him the top scorer, but Pele took the plaudits and Brazil savoured a first World Cup triumph.

1962: Intercontinental Cup final, second leg, Benfica 2-5 Santos

Injury cruelly meant Pele only played a small role in Brazil's successful World Cup defence, but three months down the line, in September and October 1962, he served up a dish of his world-beating best.

A clinical double at home in the first leg gave Santos a 3-2 advantage against Benfica in the Intercontinental Cup, a clash of the reigning Copa Libertadores and European Cup champions.

Pele saved his best for the second leg in Lisbon, grabbing a hat-trick against a Benfica defence who had little answer to his dribbling, pace and power. At the other end of the field, Eusebio could not match Pele.

Benfica goalkeeper Costa Pereira accounted for the 5-2 drubbing at the Estadio da Luz by lauding the prowess of the chief tormentor, saying he had been "undone by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of us".

Team-mate Antonio Simoes told Portuguese publication Sol in 2022: "Even today, when people ask me who is the best player I have seen in my entire life, I answer that it is Pele. I've never seen anyone do things like he did. I was dazzled. Benfica was the best team in Europe. But Santos was the best in the world."

1963, Roca Cup, second leg, Brazil 5-2 Argentina

Pele fired another hat-trick as Brazil retained the Roca Cup with a statement victory in Rio.

This was a competition contested sporadically by the great South American rivals, and a 3-2 win for Argentina at the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo had given them the edge heading into the second leg at the sprawling Maracana.

Reports said a crowd of around 130,000 attended the game, and Pele came up trumps with a hat-trick, including two penalties after he was felled each time.

Pele had made his Brazil debut against Argentina six years previously in an earlier Roca Cup clash, and now into his early twenties he remained the star man for the two-time world champions.

Brazil's 4-1 lead after 90 minutes meant they were ahead on aggregate, but curiously the game still went to extra time, with both sides having a win apiece, with the overall score only counting after they split the extra period 1-1.

1970: World Cup final, Brazil 4-1 Italy

Injury scuppered Pele's hopes of making an impact at the 1966 World Cup in England, but four years later he was back and eager to help Brazil reclaim the Jules Rimet Trophy.

The crowning moment of his career and this golden age of Brazilian football would come at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, with Pele to the forefront in a thumping win over the Azzurri.

Brazil won every game they played at this World Cup, including a group-stage victory over defending champions England, while Italy knocked out West Germany in the semi-finals.

Come the title match, Pele headed the opener for Brazil, climbing astonishingly high at the far post, and he later nodded the ball down for Jairzinho to plunder their third.

Brazil's piece de resistance in the final was Carlos Alberto's majestic strike that put the seal on the win, with an exceptional team move climaxing with Pele almost casually laying the ball into the path of the captain who thundered a shot past Enrico Albertosi.

Pele would never play another World Cup game, and he could hardly have gone out on a greater high.

Brazil legend and three-time World Cup winner Pele has died at the age of 82, leaving behind one of the greatest sporting legacies.

Pele passed away in Sao Paulo on Thursday, leaving the football world in mourning for the loss of one of its all-time legends.

Across a playing career that spanned over two decades, Pele scored for fun and won countless honours.

Here, Stats Perform has picked through some of the iconic moments that helped shape his mystique and reputation in the game.

 

The Selecao double (1958 World Cup Final)

Already a talent back home, Pele was yet to even complete his first year with Brazil when he caught the imagination half the world away in Sweden, with a string of superb performances at his first World Cup.

He capped it by becoming the then-youngest player to feature in a World Cup final, at 17 years and 249 days, and scored a brace to help his side to victory – including an audacious first that saw him volley a great finish.

 

The Copa brace (Santos 3-0 Penarol, 1962 Copa Libertadores Finals)

For back-to-back years, Uruguayan heavyweights Penarol had been the undisputed kings of South American club football, but over a two-legged final, Santos had been able to hold them at bay.

That forced a third leg, a playoff to decide who would be crowned Copa Libertadores champions – Pele scored a rapid-fire brace after the restart to put the result beyond doubt.

The halfway-line shot (Brazil 4-1 Czechoslovakia, 1970 World Cup)

A dozen years on from Sweden, and having missed his side's victorious final in 1962 through injury, Pele headed to Mexico for what many assumed to be a chance at correcting unfinished business.

In their first game of the tournament, Brazil ran out convincing winners against Czechoslovakia – but it was the forward's non-goal, an audacious lob from the halfway line that was just pulled wide, that many remember as an enterprising play.

The wonder save (England 0-1 Brazil, 1970 World Cup)

If another moment from the tournament lives fast in the memory though, it's another miss from Pele – but on this occasion, the attacker can't be blamed for not finishing this effort.

He looked to have done everything right, planting a superb downward header off a cross from out wide, only for England goalkeeper Gordon Banks to acrobatically keep it out. A defining moment for both men.

The dummied miss (Uruguay 1-3 Brazil, 1970 World Cup)

It is a testament to how enshrined 1970 – Pele's third and final World Cup triumph – is in his legacy that it is three chances, three misses that linger in the memory.

This time, Pele took the ball on to Uruguay goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz and dummied him, before rounding to the right to strike. His shot agonisingly missed the bottom-left corner – but still didn't hurt his side's victory.

Pele, the Brazil great and three-time World Cup winner, has died.

The 82-year-old had been moved to palliative care early in December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

Before Christmas Day, his family travelled to be by his side at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo.

His death was confirmed by his daughter on Thursday.

Pele was regarded by most as one of the greatest players in the history of football, leaving an indelible legacy after a career that lasted 21 years.

He played the majority of his club career at Santos, for whom he scored 643 goals in 659 matches over an 18-year period. He also represented the New York Cosmos between 1975 and 1977.

But it was his impact for Brazil that truly cemented his status as a sporting icon and all-time football great.

He helped the Selecao to World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970, with no player in the tournament's history winning it more than him.

Pele's first World Cup triumph in 1958 came when he was just 17 years and 249 days old, making him the youngest player ever to win it. He also scored in the showpiece game – no one younger has ever netted in a World Cup final.

That was one of 77 goals at international level, a haul that still has not been overhauled by a Brazilian player, with Neymar just two behind.

After his retirement, Pele lent his name and influence to many charitable initiatives and will be remembered as arguably the greatest World Cup player of all time.

Pele: 1940-2022

December 29, 2022

Pele remains the marker to whom modern greats such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are compared.

The Brazilian legend is one of football’s most iconic figures and his death at the age of 82 brings the curtain down on a life and career that entertained and inspired in equal measure.

The forward, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Tres Coracoes in 1940, was just 15 years old when he made his Santos debut in 1956, winning his first Brazil cap the following year.

It was at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden that Pele first commanded international attention, though.

Brazil were yet to lift the Jules Rimet trophy when Pele first burst onto the scene, but the teenager helped kick-start a period of success for the South American nation with a series of scintillating displays.

After breaking into Vicente Feola's starting XI for the final game of the group stage against the Soviet Union, Pele thrived during the knockout matches, scoring six goals as Brazil saw off Wales, France and Sweden to clinch their maiden title.

Pele's influence began to tell domestically too, scoring 127 goals in 1959, and Santos picked up the first of five consecutive Taca Brasil crowns in 1961 – the same year he was declared a Brazilian national treasure – before a groin injury hindered his involvement in the country's successful World Cup defence in Chile in 1962.

Santos collected back-to-back Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup triumphs in 1962 and 1963 – Pele scoring in all four finals – but he was a marked man at the 1966 World Cup in England, with heavy tackles limiting his influence as Brazil crashed out at the group stage.

There would be one last World Cup flourish for Pele, though, scoring the opener and turning in a superb final display as Brazil beat Italy 4-1 to reclaim the title, earning the legendary striker a record third tournament win.

After a brief retirement, Pele eventually closed out his career playing for the New York Cosmos in the United States.

Pele's achievements have been celebrated with countless individual accolades, including being a joint winner of FIFA's Player of the Century with Diego Maradona in 2000.

"God was really generous with Pele in every way," former international team-mate Rivellino told Stats Perform. "Physically speaking he was a perfect athlete.

"He was fantastic, a good team-mate, very positive, always pushing us to win.

"He was a guy I learned a lot from, he was an example for me on the pitch.

"He wanted to get perfection. It is difficult to get there but he got very close to it.

"His headers were the best, his ball control was like no one else's, he was great with both legs. He could even play as a goalkeeper, so he was a phenomenal player and I believe in life I will not see anyone like him.

"All he won and did, for me there won't be another one. 

"Another great player may appear – an excellent player – but another king like him? No."

Pele spent his later years working as an ambassador for a variety of charitable causes and commercial partners, but it is his magic on the field that will forever set the benchmark.

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