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Pelé: A look back on the footballer who dazzled, inspired and radiated joy

Football legend Pelé has passed away at the age of 82 from colon cancer. Pelé, also named Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was viewed by many as the world’s finest footballer.

Pelé adored the game and it adored him back. Wherever he went, thousands of fans would follow, hoping to catch a glimpse of the three-time World Cup winner.

At the age of 16, Pelé had already made his mark on the international stage, scoring on his debut against arch-rival Argentina in 1957.

One year later, his skills throughout the tournament and a brace against Sweden in the showpiece match helped Brazil’s national football team clinch their first FIFA World Cup.

They would go on to successfully defend the trophy in Chile in 1962.

The 1966 World Cup in England ended in dismay for Brazil and Pelé, after picking up an injury caused by persistent fouling of him in a game against Hungary. Brazil was later knocked out by Portugal.

But he was back in 1970, leading Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970. He remains the only man to have lifted three World Cup titles.

Officially, he scored 757 goals in 831 games during his 20-year career, although club Santos, which he played for, claims his tally was closer to 1,000.

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