Soccer fans the world over were left mourning this week after it was announced that Brazilian soccer megastar Pelé had passed away at the age of 82.
CNN reported that Pelé had to be hospitalized in São Paulo late last month due to a respiratory infection as well as complications arising from colon cancer.
Pelé: “I was born to play football”
The network noted that the global star is survived by his daughter Kely Nascimento who wrote a message to her late father on Instagram, saying, “Everything that we are, is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
According to CNN, Pelé played in four World Cups over the course of his long career and remains the only soccer player to have won three.
“I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint,” CNN quoted him as having said.
Social media users from across the world quickly took to social media following Pelé’s death and created posts in remembrance of the fallen athlete.
Joe Biden calls Pelé a “soccer legend”
Among them was President Joe Biden, who put out a tweet recalling how Pelé had managed to “rise from humble beginnings to soccer legend.”
For a sport that brings the world together like no other, Pelé’s rise from humble beginnings to soccer legend is a story of what is possible.
Today, Jill and I’s thoughts are with his family and all those who loved him. pic.twitter.com/EkDDkqQgLo
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 29, 2022
Biden’s predecessor spoke up as well, with former President Barack Obama describing Pelé as “one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game.”
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. pic.twitter.com/urGRDePaPv
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 29, 2022
Fellow sports legend Michael Jordon took note of Pelé’s passing too, calling him “the original and only THE GREATEST!”
Many GREAT footballers demonstrating why Pele is the original and only THE GREATEST! pic.twitter.com/vUW7fxnm5q
— Michael Johnson (@MJGold) December 30, 2022
Meanwhile, NASA celebrated Pelé life by tweeting out an image of a galaxy which features the colors of Brazil’s national soccer team.
We mark the passing of the legendary Pelé, known to many as the king of the “beautiful game.” This image of a spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor shows the colors of Brazil. pic.twitter.com/sOYfKdTeAJ
— NASA (@NASA) December 29, 2022