👉Brazilian football legend Pelé, who burst onto the world scene as a goal-scoring teenager and led his national team to an unprecedented three World Cup titles, died Thursday at the age of 82.
He was hospitalized in late November, and doctors said in December he was dealing with cancer that had advanced along with kidney and cardiac problems. In September 2021, he had surgery to remove a tumor from his colon.
Widely considered one of the greatest football players of all time, Pelé dazzled on the World Cup stage for Brazil and in club games and international tours with his team Santos before helping generate a surge of excitement around the sport in the United States with a late-career stint with the New York Cosmos.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in 1940 in Três Corações, about 250 kilometers northwest of Rio de Janeiro, Pelé signed with Santos at the age of 15.
By 16, he was part of Brazil’s national team, and in 1958 he made his World Cup debut at age 17, announcing himself on football’s biggest stage with a goal in his first match. He is the youngest player to ever score in the men’s World Cup and the youngest to ever score three goals in one game, which he accomplished in Brazil’s second match of the tournament.