Digi World Mag
Pele was the player who brought a nation together.

Fans began to assemble outside the Albert Einstein hospital in So Paulo upon hearing the news of Pele’s death. Some wore the number 10 shirt that Pele wore when he played for Santos. Outside, a flag that said “Eternal King Pele” was draped.

This is a moment that Brazilians have anticipated but also feared for some time. Kely Nascimento, Pele’s daughter, has used Instagram to inform fans of his status (“The King” in Portuguese).

When the news of his death eventually arrived, it was still a momentous occasion. The hospital published a statement confirming his death due to multiple organ failures related to his colon cancer, but it was more than just a medical bulletin; it also expressed sympathy for the family and the public’s loss of “our beloved King of football.”

This demonstrates how valuable he was to Brazilians; while Pele was a footballing icon around the world, he was so much more to the people of Brazil.

President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will be sworn in on Sunday, stated that he had seen Pele play, but he added that it was more of a “show” than actual “playing.”

“Few Brazilians took the name of our country as far as he went,” he tweeted, adding that there has never been another number 10 like him.

Pele signified something for every Brazilian. The elder generations recalled him as a player, and the younger Brazilians were informed of his extraordinary abilities; yet, he united this footballing nation.

This is a nation that is defined by football. Brazilians are granted time off during the World Cup to watch their national team. From his hospital bed, Pele was cheering them on and wishing them luck. His death following the competition he won three times is therefore all the more tragic.

Brazilians have had time to reflect on his life over the past few weeks, knowing that his condition was deteriorating. Even non-football fans refer to him as “The King.”

He stayed Brazilian by playing for Santos for several years. In 1961, President Janio Quadros named him a national treasure, preventing him from playing overseas for years. That mattered.

In a country where racism and classism are still common, Pele, a black football player from a poor family, was an amazing success story. He didn’t talk much about racism, which was sometimes seen as a bad thing. But he was always a big fan of how soccer could bring the country together and give even the poorest Brazilians a chance.

Pele was also quiet about politics. Given his huge power and volatile politics, including a dictatorship, many felt this was a precarious position. In a divided nation, his silence has made him the king of all Brazilians, on and off the field. Allowed.

The greatest footballer of all time has passed away, yet his legacy will live on forever in Brazil.

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