Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, died this Thursday just after 16:00 (Brazilian time). The historic soccer player was 82 years old and had been hospitalized for almost a month at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo. After hearing the news, celebrities, clubs and players from around the world expressed their farewells on social media.
Of course, the first to remember him was Santos Futebol Clube, his place, where he grew up and became the world star everyone came to know and love. In a simple post, the account wrote "eternal," next to a photo of a wreath. In addition, they changed their profile and cover photos as a way of mourning.
— Santos FC (@SantosFC) December 29, 2022
As for Pelé's personal user account, managed by his family members, they shared a black and white image of the ex-footballer along with a text highlighting his legacy and the love with which he lived.
Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who passed away peacefully today. On his journey, Edson charmed the world with his genius in sports, stopped a war, carried out social work all over the world and spread what he believed most to be the cure for all our problems: love. Your message today becomes a legacy for future generations. Love, love and love, forever.
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.
Love, love and love, forever. pic.twitter.com/CP9syIdL3i
— Pelé (@Pele) December 29, 2022
The Brazilian Football Confederation, with which the star won three World Cups, chose a photo of Edson Arantes do Nascimento celebrating a goal for the Canarinha . In total, Pelé won three World Cups wearing the national team's jersey: Sweden 1958, Chile 1962 and Mexico 1970.
REI PELÉ 👑👑👑 pic.twitter.com/epP8zZHRYr
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) December 29, 2022
Kylian Mbappé, one of the stars of world soccer today, also remembered him: "The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP REY," he wrote on his social media. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, posted on Instagram a series of photos alongside the Brazilian: "Rest in peace, Pelé."
The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.
RIP KING 💔👑… pic.twitter.com/F55PrcM2Ud
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) December 29, 2022
Outside of soccer, Rafael Nadal, the tennis player with the most Grand Slams, was quick to dedicate a few words to him: "Today a great of world sport is leaving us once again. A sad day for the world of soccer, for the world of sport. His legacy will always remain. I did not see him play, I was not that lucky, but I was always taught and told that he was the king of soccer," wrote the Spanish.
Hoy se vuelve a ir un grande del deporte mundial. Un día triste para el mundo del fútbol, para el mundo del deporte. Su legado siempre quedará.
No le vi jugar, no tuve esa suerte, pero siempre me enseñaron y me dijeron que fue el Rey del fútbol.
DEP #ORei #Pele 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/E4mKdu8gBt
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) December 29, 2022
The last days of the king
During the last few years, the star's health had been complicated by a tumor in his colon. In September 2021, he underwent surgery and, since then, has been receiving close medical follow-ups. Last November 29, a few days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, he was admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital for a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatment.
As the days went by, his condition deteriorated to the point that Santos, his lifelong club, had already organized everything necessary to hold his wake at the Urbano Caldeira Stadium. Finally, this Thursday, his daughter confirmed the death through a post on Instagram: "Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace," she wrote next to an emotional photo holding O Rei's hand.