Pelé, the first global soccer icon, has died. He was 82. The legend himself is widely regarded as the best soccer player of all time and is one of the most famous figures of the 20th century.
He was the highest-paid athlete at the peak of his career and continued to earn millions through his endorsements though he was already in retirement for decades. So, relive the successful career of “the greatest” and see the net worth he amassed.
The Triumphant Career of One of the Most Successful Soccer Players of All Time
Pelé started playing at the age of 15 and became a member of the Brazil national team at 16.
He began to make and break records as he made a name internationally. He won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962, and 1970, and he was the only player to do so.
He was dubbed “O Rei” or The King after his 1958 win and remained Brazil’s join-top goalscorer with 77 goals in 92 games. He was also Santos’ all-time top goal scorer, with 643 goals in 659 games.
In 1999, the International Olympic Committee named him the Athlete of the Century, while Time included him on the 100 most important people of the 20th-century list.
In 2000, the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) voted Pelé the World Player of the Century. He, too, was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century.
He also held a Guinness World Record for making 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, including friendlies.
However, he eventually retired in 1977, became the worldwide football ambassador, and made numerous acting and commercial projects.
He remained an inspiration to many, not just because of his performance in the field but also his record-breaking achievements and legacy in the sport.
Pelé’s Honors and Net Worth
Pelé held a lot of important records and received various honors. He was even treated as a national hero in his home country of Brazil.
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At the time of his death, he was worth $100 million, making him one of the wealthiest athletes.
The Death of a Legend
Pelé’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, announced her father’s death in a post on Instagram.
“Everything that we are is thanks to you,” she wrote on Instagram, as translated by CNN, with a photo of their family holding their patriarch’s hands. “We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Pelé was hospitalized at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo in late November due to a respiratory infection and complications of colon cancer.
The hospital revealed last week that his health started deteriorating as his cancer progressed.
It then released a statement about his death on Thursday, December 29, from multiple organ failure due to colon cancer progression.
More than being one of the most famous soccer players, Pelé’s legacy goes beyond his winnings, honors, and records.
“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint,” he famously said.
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