Photos: Soccer legend Pelé | CNN
Updated at 9:41 AM EST, Friday December 30, 2022
By Kyle Almond and Will Lanzoni, CNN
Brazilian soccer star Pele, who became a global icon, has died at the age of 82.
Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is the only man in history to win three World Cups.
He was just 17 when he starred in the 1958 World Cup, scoring twice in Sweden’s final. He would go on to add titles in 1962 and 1970, thrilling fans with his extraordinary dribbling skills and his prodigious goal-scoring ability.
For most of his career, Pele played professionally for Brazilian club Santos. In the last few years before his retirement, he signed a multimillion dollar deal to play in the North American Soccer League, where he won a title with the New York Cosmos.
In 2000, FIFA named him Player of the Century along with Argentine legend Diego Maradona. Many still consider him the greatest player of all time.
“I was born to play football, like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint,” Pele once said.