Pele had been in hospital in Sao Paulo since late November after being admitted to the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo with a respiratory infection and remained there until his death. Pele's daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram: "We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace." Nascimento, who had posted before Christmas that members of Pele's family would spend the holiday period in the hospital with him, added three heartbroken emojis. Pele burst on to the global scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes in the competition. Injury affected his contribution to the finals in 1962, when Brazil retained their title, and 1966, but he returned to lead his country to glory for a third time in Mexico in 1970, as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest line-up of all time. He has endured a number of health issues in recent years, and in September 2021 underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon. Pele was a prodigious scorer of goals, and is credited with 1,281 of them across the length of his career by the official FIFA website. There was so much more to his game though, and his outrageous talent and willingness to try - and often pull off - the seemingly impossible have prompted many observers to describe him as the greatest player of all time. Others can also justifiably stake a claim for that title - not least Diego Maradona and his fellow Argentinian Lionel Messi - but it is inconceivable not to mention Pele in any shortlist.
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