Remembering Pelé: The Legacy of a Soccer Legend

Remembering Pelé: The Legacy of a Soccer Legend

Leaving his final mark on the world at age 82, Edson Arantes do Nascimento–famously known as Pelé–passed away on Dec. 29, 2022 after a year-long battle with colon cancer. Fans around the world assembled in mourning to celebrate the life of the beloved soccer star.

“I am not a Santos [Pelé’s club soccer team] fan,” 17-year-old soccer fan Geovana Sarmento said to the LA Times after honoring Pelé’s resting body. “But this guy invented Brazil’s national team. He made Santos stronger, he made it big, how could you not respect him?” 

During Pelé’s 22-year-long career, the soccer star set a new standard for professional soccer players. Pelé was the only three-time world champion, making the Brazilian team a notorious powerhouse. He was an idol to many, including other famous players that share his passion for the sport.

“I would say that before Pelé soccer was just a sport,” fellow Brazilian soccer player Neymar said on his Instagram. “Pelé changed everything. He transformed soccer into art, entertainment.”

“I would say that before Pelé soccer was just a sport. Pelé changed everything. He transformed soccer into art, entertainment.” ”

— Neymar

In acknowledgement of the great impact Pelé made on the soccer world, especially in Brazil, a large ceremony in his home town of Sao Paulo was held in his honor.  His casket was laid down in the midfield area of Vila Belmiro, where his career began.

“It’s a funeral but also it’s a carnival,” Santos fan Rodrigo Belem said to Mirror. “We are here to celebrate the life of the greatest player ever to grace a football field.” 

Pelé will continue to live on in the hearts of everyone who loved him and who were inspired by his remarkable career. Pelé will be a name that never dies in soccer history.

“Your talent is a school through which every player should go,” professional soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo said on his Instagram. “Your legacy transcends generations. And that is the way you will continue to live.”