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Soccer King Pelé Dies at 82

Pelé, regarded as one of the soccer's greatest and most important players, died Thursday (December 29) at the age of 82, his agent, Joe Fraga, confirmed to the Associated Press.

Pelé's daughter, Kely Nascimento, also confirmed her father's death in a post shared on her verified Instagram account.

"Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace 💔 💔 💔," Nascimento wrote.

The Brazilian had undergone treatment for colon cancer since 2021 and was recently hospitalized for multiple ailments.

Pelé initially debuted for the Brazilian club Santos at the age of 15 in 1956 and later served as a reserve for the Brazil national team during its first World Cup championship in 1958, winning the award for 'Best Young Player.'

Pelé would later guide Brazil to two more World Cup championships, becoming the only player to win three.

The forward was also the Brazil national team's all-time top scorer with 77 goals, a record that was tied by Neymar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup earlier this month.

The Brazilian also set club records for appearances (1,106) and goals (1,091) during his nearly three decade.

Following his semi-retirement, Pelé joined the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in 1975, becoming the league's biggest star and creating more exposure for the sport in North America.

The soccer legend is credited for coining the phrase "O Jogo Bonito," which translates to English as "The Beautiful Game," and was one of the sport's greatest global ambassadors throughout the remainder of his life, having also served as Brazil's first minister of sports from 1995 to 1999.

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