Pele, who had a tumor removed from his colon last year, died at a hospital in Sao Paolo, his agent said.

Pele, the legendary Brazilian soccer player who grew from barefoot poverty to become one of the greatest and most famous athletes in modern history, has passed away at the age of 82.

Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital, where Pele was undergoing treatment, said he died at 3:27 p.m. (6:27 GMT) on Thursday “due to multiple organ failure resulting from the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous medical condition .”

The death of the only man to win the World Cup three times as a player was confirmed on his Instagram account.

“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who passed away peacefully today,” the post read.

Pele, whose real name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was remembered for his wide-ranging achievements both on and off the football field.

The commemorative post on Pele’s social media page highlighted the star’s international appeal, referring to an incident during the Nigerian Civil War when opposing factions agreed to a ceasefire in order to enjoy a match Pele played in the country.

“During his journey, Edson captivated the world with his genius in sports, stopped a war, performed social works around the world, and spread what he believed was the cure for all our problems: love. His message today will be a legacy for future generations.”

A public funeral will be held outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, at the Vila Belmiro stadium, where he played for many years with the Santos football club. The coffin will pass by the home of his 100-year-old mother, Celeste Arantes, before being placed in the center of the field.

The public can pay their respects there next Monday and Tuesday.

‘We love you infinitely’

Tributes poured in from around the world for the late football legend, including one from his daughter, documentary filmmaker Kely Nascimento. She posted a photo to her Instagram of family members holding his hand as he rested in a hospital bed.

“All we are is because of you,” Nascimento wrote. “We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”

Medical reports indicated that Pele passed away due to multiple organ failure, as a result of his battle with colon cancer. He had been hospitalized with multiple ailments, including a respiratory infection, as well as suffering from heart and kidney problems.

Pele had one tumor removed from his colon in September 2021. He was allowed to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on Nov. 29.

Doctors there said his colon cancer was “progressing” and he needed “more comprehensive care to treat kidney and heart failure.”

Pele, seen by many as the most talented footballer to ever play the game, led Brazil to three World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He remains Brazil’s leading goalscorer, with 77 goals in 92 matches.

Following Argentina’s World Cup victory on Dec. 18 in Qatar, Pele posted a photo on social media of their team lifting the trophy, praising the performances of captain Lionel Messi, France’s rising star Kylian Mbappé and surprise semi-finalists Morocco.

“Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an engaging way,” he said. “What a gift it was to see this spectacle of the future of our sport.”

Brazil players and fans in Qatar also unfurled banners on and off the pitch depicting the football great and wishing for his recovery.

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By wy9m6

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