BREAKING: One of the All-Time Greats Has Died

( – BREAKING NOW: Pelé, one of the greatest athletes and soccer players of all time, has passed away at the age of 82.

The New York Post writes:

Pelé, the Brazilian soccer star who led his country’s national team to that World Cup victory in 1958 and who, in the 1960s and ’70s, rivaled Muhammad Ali as the world’s most popular and recognizable athlete, died Thursday at a Sao Paulo hospital. He was 82, and had been in poor health for the last several years as he battled cancer and what the hospital described in a statement this week as “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions.”

“Pelé, whose presence for a 1969 exhibition match in Nigeria led to a two-day cease-fire in that country’s bitter civil war so that both sides could see him play, became the only player to win three World Cups when Brazil was again victorious in 1962 and 1970…

By force of his skill and personality, Pele is credited with igniting the slow but steady growth of soccer — “the beautiful game,” as he called it — in the United States.” [emphasis added]

There can be no doubt that Pelé captured the imagination of a generation of young Americans and brought about the popularity of soccer in the United States, where it had previously been given little attention.