In the Sebokeng township, South Africans responded on Friday to the passing of Pelé, the Brazilian soccer legend who set a record by winning three World Cups and went on to become one of the most influential sports figures of the 20th century. Pelé passed away on Thursday at the age of 82.
Pele had been receiving treatment for colon cancer since 2021 and had spent the previous month in the hospital due to a variety of illnesses.
One of the greatest players in soccer history, Pelé spent nearly two decades thrilling fans and stunning opponents while playing for Brazilian club Santos and the Brazil national team.
In Johannesburg, former player, coach, and instructor for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Kenneth Kubheka concurred with the general consensus that Pele was the greatest player to ever play the game.
Peter “Fire” Khoabane, another former player, agreed, stating that Pele would always be regarded as a legend of the game.
Players and spectators were mesmerized by Pele’s grace, athleticism, and mesmerizing moves.
He orchestrated a quick, fluid style that transformed the game, personifying his nation’s grace on the field with a samba-like flair.
In a journey that started on the streets of Sao Paulo state, where he would kick a sock filled with newspapers or rags, he led Brazil to the pinnacles of soccer and developed into a global ambassador for his sport.