The world wide web has been put on hold as the news of the death of Brazilian soccer legend Pele rocked the internet on Thursday.
The three times world cup winner was moved to an end-of-life ward in Albert Einstein hospital in November after he stopped responding to chemotherapy.
The soccer legend was diagnosed with bowel cancer in September 2021 and later with a respiratory infection while he was in the hospital.
He would later be moved to palliative, end-of-life care, to help him deal with his pain and shortness of breath, and to make him more comfortable.
His daughter Kely Nascimento paid tribute to her father on Instagram: “We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Reacting to the news of the Icon’s passing fans, football clubs, football players, and thought leaders all over the world took to their social media accounts to pay tribute to Pele.
@SamuelEtoo wrote on Twitter. “Today, we say goodbye to the best ever. Rest in eternal peace, Pele, you’ll be missed my millions and millions. Legend”
@Okwonga wrote, “Pelé was unique because, for the longest time, he was (is?) the yardstick by whom we judge greatness. His brilliance was so enduring that it was almost taken for granted, the same way that people in constantly hot countries might become complacent about the presence of the Sun.”
Stoke City Football Club wrote, “A true great and a friend of Stoke City. Rest in peace, Pelé.”
Rangers Football Club wrote, “#RangersFC are saddened to hear of the death of Pelé, one of the true greats of the game. We join the football world in passing our condolences to his family and friends at this time.”
Erling Haaland wrote. “Everything you see any player doing, Pelé did it first. RIP”
Former US President Barrack Obama shared a picture of himself and Pele together with the caption, “Pelé was one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game. And as one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, he understood the power of sports to bring people together. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who loved and admired him.”
Meanwhile, Guinness World Records penned down a tribute while sharing pictures of the legend being honored as the only football player to have won the world cup three times.Similarly, FIFA celebrated the death of Pele by highlighting the major achievements of the Icon in his entire football career. “Pelé’s Major Honours; Brasileiro, FIFA World Cup, Copa Libertadores, FIFA Player of the Century, 1970 World Cup Golden Ball, Youngest World Cup Winner, Most hat-tricks of all time-92, Most World Cup assists-10, Honorary Ballon d’Or,” they wrote.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento popularly known as Pele began playing for Santos at the age of 15 and the Brazilian national team a year later, bursting onto the world football scene as a 17-year-old in the 1958 World Cup.
During his international career, he won three World Cups – in 1958, 1962 and 1970 – the only player to achieve this.
His role in Brazil’s third victory, in Mexico in 1970, has gone down in football folklore, as he played a key role in arguably the sport’s greatest ever international team.
His glittering 20-year career from 1957 to 1977 saw him score 757 goals in 831 games, although Santos claim his tally was closer to 1,000.