Brazilian legend Pele, who won the World Cup a record three times and scored 767 goals across a celebrated career, died on Thursday.
He was 82.
His agent Joe Fraga confirmed his death to the Associated Press.
Kely Nascimento, one of Pele’s daughters, announced on Dec. 21 that his health was worsening and that he’d spend Christmas at the hospital to receive “elevated care.”
Pele was diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2021 and began undergoing chemotherapy that month. He also underwent procedures on his hip, kidney, and prostate over the last decade.
Pele was admitted to Hospital Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo earlier in December to receive treatment for a respiratory infection.
Widely considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time alongside Diego Maradona, Pele helped Brazil win the World Cup in 1958, 1962, and 1970. His best performances came at the 1958 World Cup, where he scored six goals, including two in the final against host nation Sweden.
Pele is Brazil’s joint-leading scorer with 77 tallies in 92 international appearances. Neymar equaled his idol during the World Cup in Qatar.
Pele bagged the majority of his goals for Brazilian club Santos between 1956 and 1974. Santos claims Pele scored around 1,000 goals in his career, but several hundred of those goals came in unofficial friendlies.
He joined the upstart North American Soccer League in 1975 and played for the New York Cosmos for two years, helping to propel the sport in the United States. He called an end to his career in 1977 after playing in an exhibition match between Santos and the Cosmos in New York.