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SAO PAULO (AP) — Pelé was simply “The King.” He embraced “the beautiful game” of soccer in his 1958 World Cup debut for Brazil and never really let go.
He won a record three World Cups and was widely regarded as one of his sport’s greatest players. His majestic and galvanizing presence set him among the most recognizable figures in the world.
Pelé died Thursday at 82. He had undergone treatment for colon cancer since 2021.
Pelé was among the game’s most prolific scorers and spent nearly two decades enchanting fans and dazzling opponents. His grace, athleticism and moves on soccer’s highest stage transfixed all. He orchestrated a fast, fluid style of play that revolutionized the sport — a flair that personified Brazilian elegance on the field.