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Pele dead: Brazil football legend dies aged 82 following cancer battle

Brazil legend and footballing icon Pele has sadly passed away at the age of 82 following a battle against cancer

Pele, the Brazilian who has long been considered the greatest footballer of all time, has died at the age of 82.

The legendary figure, a man who transcended his sport and was a global icon, learned that his colon cancer had advanced on December 21 and was told he would be kept in hospital over Christmas – with the iconic forward needing treatment for cardiac and renal dysfunction. 

Previously he had been admitted to the hospital on November 30 with swelling all over his body and ‘decompensated heart failure’ before passing away a month on after receiving palliative care

Pele’s emergence at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden remains the greatest debut bow in the history of football’s biggest tournament. His six goals in four matches helped carry Brazil to their first ever World Cup triumph and made their young striker a household name overnight. 

Further World Cup glory awaited in 1962, albeit in a tournament during which injury denied the world from seeing Pele at his absolute pomp. 

In 1970, Pele returned to true pre-eminence on the world stage, leading one of the greatest international sides of all time to World Cup glory in Mexico. 

Pelé, along with the likes of Rivelino, Jairzinho, Gérson, Carlos Alberto, Tostão and Clodoaldo, lit up the tournament – the first to be shown globally in colour – with a series of electrifying performances culminating in a 4-1 defeat of Italy in the final. 

Pele himself scored the opening goal before turning provider to assist goals for both Jairzinho and Carlos Alberto. 

Greats of the games including Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Ferenc Puskas and Bobby Moore named Pele the greatest player in history, a standing which remained indelibly attached to him even with emergence of football’s modern greats. 

Stay with us here for full live reaction and remembrance from across the globe following the passing of one of the true giants of 20th century sport.

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