The Three Lions posted a throwback picture of a bromantic moment between a shirtless Pele and an equally shirtless George Best tweeted: "One of the greatest to have graced the beautiful game. Farewell, Pele. You will never be forgotten"
In this file photo taken on June 21, 1970 Brazilian midfielder Pelé (L) dribbles past Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich during the World Cup final in Mexico City. Pic/AFP
In a moving tribute to the man who made football 'the beautiful game', his family put out a message that summed up his life on his official Twitter handle on Thursday morning local time, announcing his death.
"Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever."
Pele's daughter, Kelly Nascimento, posted a social media update where she shared a picture of her along with members of her family, and wrote: "We have to look out for each other, and hold tight."
The news of Pele's passing came after reports claiming that the condition of the football legend had worsened in recent days and he was put under "elevated care" related to "kidney and cardiac dysfunctions".
In other tribute, Manchester United tweeted: "Rest in peace, Pele. Thank you for the joy you brought to football fans around the world."
Unesco, which Pele had been representing since 1994 as the Champion for Sport, tweeted: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pele. We extend our condolences to the Brazilian people and the football family. @Pele was @UNESCO Champion for Sport since 1994 and worked relentlessly to promote sport as a tool for peace. He will be greatly missed."
The Three Lions posted a throwback picture of a bromantic moment between a shirtless Pele and an equally shirtless George Best tweeted: "One of the greatest to have graced the beautiful game. Farewell, Pele. You will never be forgotten."
The only footballer to lift three FIFA World Cup titles (in 1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele, whose real name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, rose from the impoverished bylanes of Sao Paulo, Brazil, to become the world's most recognised football player, considered by many as the greatest to have ever graced the game.
Married thrice, Pele is survived by two sons -- Edinho, a professional footballer (goalkeeper), and Joshua -- and his daughters -- Kelly Cristina, Flavia Kurtz and Celeste, His daughter, Sandra Regina Arantes do Nascimento, who won a long legal battle to have the former football player recognised as her father, died from cancer in 2006 aged 42.
Pele spent the last month of his life at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, battling complications arising from advancing cancer.
The 82-year-old had earlier had a colon tumour removed in September 2021 and neither his family, nor doctors, specified whether it had spread to other organs. He was stable after surgery but had to return to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) a few weeks later following respiratory instability.
He was admitted to the hospital on November 29 for a reassessment of the treatment. However, a few days later, he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection and was receiving the necessary care.
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