Representatives for Pele announced his death on Thursday on the sport star’s social media: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today.”
The memorial post on Pele’s social media highlighted the star’s international appeal, referencing an incident during the Nigerian Civil War when opposing factions agreed to a ceasefire in order to enjoy a match Pele played in the country.
“On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love. His message today becomes a legacy for future generations,” the message read.
Tributes poured in from around the world for the late football legend, including one from his daughter, documentary filmmaker Kely Nascimento. She posted a photograph to her Instagram showing family members holding his hand as he rested in a hospital bed.
“Everything we are is thanks to you,” Nascimento wrote. “We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Medical reports indicated that Pele passed away due to multiple organ failure, as a result of his battle with colon cancer. He had been hospitalised with multiple ailments, including a respiratory infection, and was also suffering from heart and kidney problems.
Pele had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021. He was admitted to the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo on November 29.
Doctors there said his colon cancer was showing “progression” and he needed “more extensive care to treat kidney and heart failure”.