Pelé, the Brazilian soccer star, passed away at 82 years old, after he was admitted to a hospital in São Paulo in late November for a respiratory infection and for complications related to colon cancer, according to CNN.
The hospital said in a press release earlier week that his health had worsened from “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions.”
He famously said that:
“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint.”
And that was an understatement, as he played in four World Cups and is the only player in history to win three, with the first being in 1958, when he started for the Brazilian soccer team at just 17.
Pelé also starred for Santos, a club in Brazil, and turned down numerous offers to play in Europe during his career because of his loyalty to his country.
He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações in 1940, eventually moving to the city of Bauru in São Paulo. He played soccer as a child barefoot with a ball made of rags, and turned it into a legendary career as the most recognizable name in the sport.
He looked up to his father, who he said was a great footballer, and Pelé always wanted to play and be like him, which was the true inspiration for his iconic career.
Pelé officially retired from soccer in 1977, and finished his career with 1,283 goals in 1,367 games. He won three World Cups for Brazil, in 1970, 1962 and 1958.
His daughter, Kely Nasciment, shared a sweet post on Instagram for her dad, which translates in English to:
“Everything that we are, is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
His own Twitter account also shared a touching goodbye:
A inspiração e o amor marcaram a jornada de Rei Pelé, que faleceu no dia de hoje.
Amor, amor e amor, para sempre. . Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.