Pele, considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, was admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on November 29, to re-evaluate his colon cancer treatment. He was later diagnosed with a respiratory infection, and was under “elevated care” related to “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions”.
His death was confirmed by his daughter and manager.
He was moved to palliative care after chemotherapy stopped having the expected results.
“Everything we are is because of you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace,” his daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram.
Pele had a tumour removed from his colon in September last year and had been receiving hospital treatment on a regular basis.
The former striker, who played for Brazil clubs Santos and New York Cosmos but dazzled on the world stage for Brazil, this week posted a picture of his face projected on a building in Qatar, where the World Cup is being held, next to a message saying “Get well soon”.
Pele — whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento — won three World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
He 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.
Injury affected his contribution to the 1962 and 1966 finals, but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest international team of all time.
Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977, although club Santos claim his tally was closer to 1,000.