Pele dies: 'Edson stopped a war and spread love' – tributes pour in for Brazil great

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Pele has been hailed for his work on and off the field following his death at the age of 82.

The Brazil great's passing was confirmed by his family on Thursday following a period in hospital, where he was moved to palliative care early in December.

Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Pele remains the only player to have won the World Cup three times in a legendary career spanning 21 years.

Pele's death led to widespread tributes on social media, not least on his own official accounts.

A message posted on the former Santos and New York Cosmos forward's Instagram account, thought to be run by close family members, read: "Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele,

"On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love."

Pele, full name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, finished his playing career with New York Cosmos in 1977 and later lent his name and influence to many charitable initiatives.

His daughter Kely Nascimento had earlier paid her own heartfelt tribute in a message accompanied by a photo of her and other family members holding Pele's hands.

"Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace," she wrote.