Pele Dies At 82 – “Transformed Football Into Art”: Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo Pay Tribute

Pele’s Funeral To Take Place On Tuesday In Hometown Santos

Pele’s wake and funeral will take place in Santos, the southeastern city where he played most of his career, his former club said after his death. Three-time World Cup champion Pele, 82, passed away on Thursday — triggering a wave of tributes from the sports world and beyond. “Multiple organ failure” caused his death after a long battle with cancer, the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement.

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‘The wake for the greatest footballer of all time will be held in Urbano Caldeira Stadium, better known as Vila Belmiro, where he enchanted the world,’ Santos football club said Thursday in a statement. A funeral procession will follow Pele through the streets before a private burial.

In 1970, at the first World Cup to be broadcast in color, Pele starred on what many consider the greatest team of all time, with Rivellino, Tostao and Jairzinho.

Whenever he went abroad with Santos or the national team, he was treated like royalty. According to legend, his arrival in Nigeria in 1969 caused a 48-hour truce in the bloody Biafra war.

A brief, lucrative swansong with the New York Cosmos brought Pele’s star power to the land of “soccer.”

As a movie star, singer, and sports minister (1995-1998), he was one of Brazil’s first black cabinet members.

In Brazil, he faced criticism for remaining silent on social issues and racism, and for being haughty and vain.

Pele was close to power players, including Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime, unlike Argentine rebel Diego Maradona.

What Became Of Pele’s Fellow 1970 World Cup Heroes?

The highlight of Pele’s career was winning the 1970 World Cup as he approached his 30s, four years after he vowed never to play in the tournament again after being kicked out of 1966. Although Pele’s superstardom continued until his death, others faded from view despite their huge impact on the game. What happened to his incredibly talented teammates?


Before the 1970 tournament, Felix was considered a weak link by his teammates, but he was respected by them. Later, he sold cars and fridges.

During the Mexico tournament, Jairzinho praised Felix, who was a senior member of the Brazil squad alongside Pele. Felix helped support younger players and even coach Mario Zagallo after Jairzinho’s death in 2012 from emphysema.

Carlos Alberto

During the 4-1 rout of Italy in the final in Mexico City, Carlos Alberto scored one of the team’s most famous goals, crashing home Pele’s layoff at the end of a flowing passing move.

In 1977, Carlos Alberto rejoined Pele at the New York Cosmos after playing for years with Santos.

After coaching in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria, and Azerbaijan, he became a TV pundit in 2005. Sadly, he died in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 at the age of 72.


Known for his short temper, the center-back earned 45 Brazil caps between 1964 and 1972. He played for about 10 different clubs — including Vasco da Gama, Flamengo, and Corinthians — before retiring in 1979. He stays out of the spotlight now that he’s 83.

Wilson Piazza

Piazza played for Cruzeiro from 1964 to 1979 and 47 times for Brazil, including at the 1970 World Cup. In his later years, Piazzo built up a chain of petrol stations and tried to get into politics.


Everaldo made his international debut in 1967, but it was Mario Zagallo who gave him his big break in 1970. He won 24 caps and lost only once. Upon retiring, he tried to get into politics but died in a car crash with his wife and daughter.


Jairzinho was Brazil’s top scorer in 1970 with seven goals in six games, one of two World Cup winners to score in every match. Before moving to Marseille, he scored 33 goals in 81 matches for Brazil.

After football, he tried to run for mayor of Rio, but he didn’t pay the fees. He also trained young footballers and discovered Brazil’s Ronaldo in the 1990s. He is now aged 77.


In the final, Clodoaldo was responsible for Roberto Boninsegna’s goal, but he’s best known for his hypnotic sashaying that led to Carlos Alberto’s iconic goal.

After retiring from football, he dabbled in property management and even managed the East Timor national team in 2010.


At the 1970 tournament, Gerson was already a veteran and scored the crucial goal that put Brazil back in front, a left-foot thunderbolt from the distance.

Known as the “Golden Left Foot” for his passing and shooting ability, he played 70 times for his country, scoring 14 goals.

Now aged 81.


The moustachioed midfielder Rivellino was only 24 when Brazil won the Jules Rimet trophy, five years into a 13-year international career that would see him play 92 times for his country.

He popularized the “flip-flap” shimmy and was one of Diego Maradona’s biggest inspirations.

He’s 76 now and works as a TV pundit.


In the 4-2 quarter-final win over Peru, Tostao, now 75, scored both of his 1970 goals.

Having quit football at 26 due to eye problems caused by a training accident, he qualified as a doctor before becoming a pundit in Brazil.

Pele: Five Great World Cup Goals

Pele, arguably the greatest footballer of all time, died on Thursday at 82. AFP Sport looks at five of the best goals the three-time World Cup champ scored:

Quarter-final 1-0 win over Wales in 1958

Gothenburg, Sweden, June 19, 1958

Pele’s first World Cup goal came against a strong Wales team led by John Charles in 1958. In Brazil’s final group game against the USSR, the then-17-year-old became the tournament’s youngest player.

Pele won a tight match with a brilliant goal in the 66th minute. As he controlled the ball inside the box with his chest, he flicked it over a bewildered defender and volleyed a low finish into the bottom corner. As soon as he scored, photographers swarmed onto the pitch to capture the celebration.

1958 semi-final v France (5-2 win)

June 24, 1958 at Stockholm

It didn’t take Pele long to add to his World Cup tally, turning a close semi-final against France in Brazil’s favor. In the second half, Pele scored a hat-trick to give Brazil a 2-1 lead over Just Fontaine’s Les Bleus.

He bundled in after a goalkeeping error to make it 3-1, then lashed home after some exquisite skill. His only World Cup hat-trick was capped by an unstoppable volley after he killed Garrincha’s right-wing cross with one touch.

1958 final v Sweden (5-2 win)

June 29, 1958 at Stockholm

Pele became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final, a feat only matched 60 years later by France’s Kylian Mbappe. After three touches, he scored the first goal of a double in the 5-2 victory over Sweden.

Then he slammed a now-trademark volley into the bottom corner after controlling a long pass on his chest.

1970 group stage v Romania (3-2 win)

June 10, 1970 at Guadalajara, Mexico

When Pele arrived in Mexico in 1970, he had plenty to prove. He had been injured in the second game of Brazil’s 1962 World Cup win and was thrown out of the 1966 edition in England.

The 29-year-old underlined his status as the world’s best player in arguably the greatest team ever. In a 3-2 group-stage win against Romania, he scored a thunderous free-kick from 30 yards out.

1970 final v Italy (4-1 win)

June 21, 1970 at Mexico City

With two misses — a shot wide after an incredible dummy and a shot from the halfway line that narrowly missed the target — Pele scored his last World Cup goal in the final.

In the 18th minute, Rivelino hooked a left-footed cross towards the back post, where Pele hung in the air and powered a header into the corner.

Despite Italy equalizing through Roberto Boninsegna, Brazil cruised to a famous win. Pele provided the assist for Carlos Alberto’s fourth goal, while his captain arrived from right-back late and scored what’s widely regarded as the best-ever World Cup goal.

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