Pele: Brazilian football legend dead aged 82

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Legendary Brazilian football player Pelé has died after being in hospital for nearly a month, following a long battle with colon cancer. Dan Walker, 45, has paid tribute to the late star in a moving tribute on Twitter in view of his 785,300 followers.

Dan included a picture of Pelé smiling and holding up his three golden footballing trophies. 

He wrote: “Some sporting stars inspire their team mates.

“Some inspire a nation and, occasionally, a generation.

“Every now and again… A special talent comes along who inspires every fan on earth.”

“I once had the pleasure of interviewing Johan Cryuff, Bobby Charlton and Eusébio together at the same event in Barcelona.

“The best player on the planet was a topic of discussion and, between them, they decided that no-one compared to Pelé.”

Pelé, whose full name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, had been having treatment in hospital since November 29 for worsening colon cancer as well as heart and kidney problems. 

He is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, and was perhaps best known for his role in three World Cup triumphs in 1958, 1962 and 1970. 

He is also tied with Neymar, on 77, for the most goals ever scored by a Brazil player.

This evening, his manager shared the heartbreaking news of his death, after the hospital caring for him announced last week that his cancer was showing “progression”.

His family had been gathered around his bedside at a Sao Paulo hospital since Christmas Eve.

Pelé was hospitalised in Sao Paulo in late November for what was said to be a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatments. 

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Other celebrities have taken to Twitter tonight to remember the late football star.

Gary Lineker wrote: “Pelé has died. The most divine of footballers and joyous of men. 

“He played a game only a few chosen ones have come close to. 

“Three times he lifted the most coveted gold trophy in that beautiful yellow shirt. 

“He may have left us but he’ll always have footballing immortality. RIP Pelé.” (sic)

Strictly Come Dancing’s Motsi Mabuse wrote: “R.I.P  we saw your light, Thank you.” (sic)

While radio DJ Adele Roberts added: “Rest in peace Pelé.” 

Former Olympic gymnast and sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao penned: “Pelé RIP King. 

“I interviewed him once in 1996 I’d just met @MrEduardoB – the PR’s that day said ‘do NOT ask for an autograph’ But I did – I had a Brazil shirt and he wrote ‘to Eduardo from your friend Pele’ he was so happy to do it – legend.” (sic) 

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