On Thursday, historic soccer figure Pelé passed away after a long battle with colon cancer.
“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. 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,” Pelé’s team wrote in a statement, announcing his death on his Instagram. “His message today becomes a legacy for future generations.”
Kely Christina Arantes do Nascimento, daughter of the soccer legend, also took to social media and discussed her father’s death. For weeks, she has been providing fans with updates on his condition and was saddened to share that his cancer worsened and ultimately took his life. “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest In Peace,” she wrote.
During a routine medical checkup, doctors discovered cancer in Pelé’s colon, to which he had a tumor removed in September of 2021. “I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends,” he said at the time.
Despite surgeries and ongoing medical treatment, the athlete was hospitalized last month and transferred to a palliative care unit at a Brazilian hospital once the chemotherapy reportedly stopped working.
Family and friends show their love for Pelé following cancer struggle
His daughter wrote less than two weeks ago on Instagram that he would undergo treatment during Christmas and spend the holidays in the hospital. “We decided with the doctors that, for various reasons, it would be better for us to stay here with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us!!” Nascimento said in the caption of an Instagram post.
“We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world! Your love for him and your stories and prayers are a HUGE comfort because we know we are not alone,” she continued.
Pelé, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, will go down in history as one of the best soccer figures in the world. Initially rising to fame while playing for the Brazilian club Santos and the Brazil national team, he went on to win three FIFA World Cups over the span of an impressive 20-year career.
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