Speed Reads

The Beautiful Game

Iconic soccer legend Pelé dead at 82

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé has died at the age of 82, The Associated Press reported on Thursday. 

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé grew up in poverty in Barau, São Paulo, famously practicing his soccer skills with found items like a grapefruit before his meteoric rise in the sport he would soon come to define as a global superstar. Considered one of the greatest players of all time, Pelé joined the Brazilian national team at just 16, going on to win a record three FIFA World Cup championships representing his home country. 

Pelé's death comes exactly one month after he was hospitalized at Brazil's Albert Einstein Hospital for an increasingly serious cancer diagnosis. There he spent his final days surrounded by family, including daughter Kely Nascimento, who posted on Instagram shortly before her father's death was announced that "these moments are hard to explain. Sometimes it is a lot of sadness and despair, in other moments we laugh and speak about fun memories."

Nascimento confirmed her father's death on Thursday, writing that "everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace."