Yesterday (Dec. 29), Pelé, one of the greatest soccer players in history, passed away at the age of 82. The star athlete, whose birth name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, rose to fame after leading his country’s national team to the World Cup victory in 1956 and going on to become a three-time World Cup winner.
Since the news broke, many fans, loved ones and fellow athletes have poured out their condolences and words of reflection. Barack Obama also took to social media to express his thoughts, as he shared a message about the impact Pelé had on not just the game of soccer, but the entire world.
“Pelé was one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game,” wrote the Former President on Twitter with a photo of them together. “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.”
Neymar also made sure to honor his fellow Brazilian soccer icon in an Instagram post, writing, “Pelé changed everything. He transformed fútbol into art, entertainment. Fútbol and Brazil elevated their standing thanks to the King! He is gone, but his magic will endure. Pelé is eternal!”
Pelé passed away due to health complications from colon cancer. During his time as a patient, one of his daughters, Kely Nascimento, posted about the journey on Instagram. “These moments are hard to explain,” she wrote. “Sometimes it is a lot of sadness and despair; in other moments we laugh and speak about fun memories. And what we learn the most from all of this is that we have to seek one another, hold each other tight. That’s the only way this is worth it. Everyone together,” she continued.
View the aforementioned posts below.