The world of football is in mourning following the death of as many described the king of football Pele, as the Brazilian great died yesterday at the age of 82.
You have imitators and then you have the originals, Pele was the original a trailblazer who’s style on the field would mesmerise all who witnessed and would be followed from generation to generation as many wanted to recreate the work of art he created on the hallowed stage.
His style of play was characterised by close ball control, quick turns and feints, that famous Brazilian Samba flair that excelled at fooling the opposition, his goal scoring is renowned the world over a lethal finisher but a general technician on the field and his use of these attributes made him a global superstar.
The only player to win three World Cups, a mad withy a nation on his shoulders as he tip toed onto the stage donning the famous Brazil Jersey, a 17 year old at the 1958 World Cup helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes in the competition.
It was a time where the Brazilian people needed a spark to take home that first World Cup, as illustrated in the Pele Netflix documentary there was some hostility toward football in the country and once Pele showed his class on the field a nation celebrated the birth of it’s newest hero.
Injury would see him not feature in a large capacity in the 1962 World Cup as brazil retained their crown before also missing out in 1966, he returned to lead his nation to their third trophy in Mexico at the 1970 Word Cup, cementing his legacy in the hearts of the Brazilian populous.
Crowds would come from far and wide to watch Pele an artist at work on the field, the 10 on his back not just a number as he changed the dynamic of the role and the way the sport would be played going into the modern day.
Here in Ireland 30,000 people packed into Dalymount Park in 1972 to see his side Santos FC play a selection from Irish clubs Bohemians and Drumcondra, everyone trying to get a glimpse of the Rockstar of football, he made the sport an art from the ultimate piece of entertainment for those lucky enough to watch him play,
Never before would four letters carry such a big message, the player dubbed the King of Football once named by FIFA as the greatest player of the 20th century, one of the greatest footballers of all time and one of the greatest stars of the 20th Century.
Pele had been in hospital in Sao Paulo since late November receiving treatment for colon cancer, his health became a real concern in recent years in September 2021 underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon, before being admitted to hospital in Sao Paulo in November where he would remain until his death.
Three days of national mourning have been declared in Brazil, where the nation will pay their final tributes to their football icon Edson Arantes do Nascimento known across the world as Pele, who’s talent and artistry would enchant the world and inspire generations to follow as the world mourns the loss of one of it’s greatest ever sportspeople.