“My deepest condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Mr. Edson Arantes do Nascimento. A mere 'goodbye' to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that currently embraces the entire world of football", said the Portuguese international in a message posted on social networks.
Cristiano Ronaldo recalled the mutual affection between the two and stated that Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, will never be forgotten.
“An inspiration for so many millions, a reference from yesterday, today, forever. The affection he always showed for me was reciprocal in every moment we shared, even from a distance. He will never be forgotten and his memory will last forever in each of us football lovers”, he stressed, ending the message with “Rest in peace, King Pelé”.
The legend of Brazilian and world football, the only player to have won the World Cup three times, was admitted to the Albert Einstein hospital, in São Paulo, on November 29, when he underwent a reassessment of treatment for cancer detected in September 2021, and the treatment of a respiratory infection, aggravated by covid-19, with antibiotics.
Pelé's health has deteriorated in recent years due to other causes as well, such as problems with his spine, hips, and knees, which have reduced his mobility and forced him to undergo surgery, in addition to having suffered a kidney crisis, which drastically reduced his public appearances, although he remained active on social media.
Pelé, the only footballer three times world champion, in 1958, 1962, and 1970, scored 77 goals in 92 games for the Brazilian national team.
He was also Minister of Sport in the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, between 1995 and 1998.
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