‘It’s a big loss for the world.’ Brazilians regret soccer icon Pele’s death

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Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach on Thursday described soccer icon Pele’s death as a loss for Brazil and the world.

Leonardo Rocha, who was playing soccer with his family on the sand, said Pele was a huge loss for soccer because of everything he represented, not only in Brazil but also worldwide.

The legendary Brazilian soccer player who rose from barefoot poverty to become one of the greatest and best-known athletes in modern history died on Thursday at the age of 82.

Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital, where Pele was undergoing treatment, said he died at 3:27 pm “due to multiple organ failures resulting from the progression of colon cancer associated with his previous medical condition.”

Reaction to the death of Brazil soccer great Pele:

Pele, whose given name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, joined Santos in 1956 and turned the small coastal club into one of the most famous names in football.

A wake is expected to be held at Santos’ Urbano Caldeira stadium, most commonly known as Vila Belmiro, on Monday, the club’s press officer said.

In addition to a host of regional and national titles, Pele won two Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the Champions League, and two Intercontinental Cups, the annual tournament held between the best teams in Europe and South America.