Pele Lost Battle With Cancer at Age 82

The Brazilian soccer legend has been announced by his daughter on social media that he has passed away at the age of 82 following a struggle with colon cancer.

AceShowbizPele has passed away aged 82 after losing his cancer battle. The Brazilian icon – who was hailed as the world’s greatest footballer and nicknamed “The King” – died in his homeland where he had been getting treatment for a tumour on his colon.

“We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace,” his daughter Kely Nascimento confirmed his death by saying on Instagram. She added three broken heart emojis to her note.

No details have yet been made public about funeral plans but a vigil will be held for the player at Vila Belmiro in Santos, the city where he is set to be buried.

Pele was told before Christmas his colon cancer had advanced and he would be kept in hospital over the holiday. He needed treatment for cardiac and renal dysfunction after previously being admitted to the hospital on November 30 with swelling all over his body, as well as “decompensated heart failure” and had received receiving palliative care.

Pele won three World Cups with Brazil between 1958 and 1970 – the only footballer to achieve the record. He also racked up 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, including friendlies, which is a Guinness World Record. His footballing debut came for his local team Santos aged 15 and he won his first cap for Brazil a year later, followed by the 1958 World Cup aged 17.

He is survived by his third wife Marcia Aoki and six children. Before the Christmas holiday Pele insisted he was “full of energy.” The three-time World Cup winner broke his silence after it was reported on December 3 he had been put on end-of-life care as he continued to fight bowel cancer.

He said on social media, “My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive. I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual. I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for all the care I have received.”

“I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you all over the world keeps me full of energy. And watch Brazil in the World Cup too! Thank you so much for everything,” Pele signed off his message with a praying hands emoji.

He has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment since September 2021 and was said near the end of his life to have stopped responding to the treatment as he battles bowel cancer. A recent report stated his chemotherapy had been suspended at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo but he continued to receive pain relief.

Qatar lit up a building with a “get well soon” message for him during this year’s World Cup, while his Brazilian fans showed their support during games by unfurling banners and tifos sending Pele their best wishes.

He last year underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon in 2021 but this year was told the cancer cells had spread to his intestine, lung and liver. In 2015, Pele had prostate surgery and had another urinary infection in 2019 and suffers with the long-term effects of a hip prosthesis while movement is difficult due to knee problems.

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