Soccer legend Pelé dead at 82

Brazilian soccer legend Pele, who won a record three World Cups and helped popularize the sport in the United States, has died at the age of 82.

He had been hospitalized for the last month with multiple ailments after undergoing treatment for colon cancer in 2021.

Pele emerged on the world state at 17 at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, the youngest player ever at the tournament.

He ended that tournament by being carried off the field on teammates’ shoulders after scoring two goals in Brazil’s 5-2 victory over host country Sweden in the final.

Injury held him to just two games when Brazil retained the world title in 1962, but Pele was the star in his country’s 1970 World Cup victory in Mexico after he scored in the final and set up Carlos Alberto  for the last goal in a 4-1 victory over Italy.

In 1975, he joined the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and although 34 and past his prime, Pele gave soccer a higher profile in the United States.

He led the Cosmos to the 1977 league title and scored 64 goals in three seasons. Pele ended his career on Oct. 1, 1977, in an exhibition between the Cosmos and Santos before a crowd in New Jersey of some 77,000.