Brazil soccer legend Pele has passed away aged 82 and is survived by wife Marcia Aoki and his seven children. Pele, real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, had been receiving pain relief in an end-of-life ward after treatment for bowel cancer stopped working.
Pele was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in December 2022 following symptoms of “heart failure.” Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro has declared three days of national mourning, the BBC reports.
We take a look back at the life and career of arguably the greatest soccer player of all time.
What age is Pele’s wife, Marcia Aoki?
As of 2022, Marcia Aoki is 56 years of age, having been born in 1966. Pele married his third wife – businesswoman Marcia Aoki – in 2016 in a private ceremony in Guaruja on the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The couple had been together for six years before they tied the knot. The age gap between Pele and his wife was 25 years. Marcia Aoki was 50 at the time of their wedding, while Pele was 75.
The Sun reports Japanese-born Marcia is the daughter of a paediatrician and a successful entrepreneur in the medical supplies sector in her own right. The outlet states Pele and Marcia first met at a party in New York in the 1980s but only started dating in 2010 following a fluke meeting in a Sao Paulo elevator when they discovered they were living in the same apartment block.
Pele is survived by seven children but he and Marcia had no children together. It’s reported five of Pele’s children came from his first two marriages. Pele had three children – Kelly, Jennifer and footballer Edinho – with first wife Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi, and twins Joshua and Celeste with second wife Assiria Nascimento.
The soccer legend has two other children, Flavia and Sandra Regina Machado. Last year a Netflix documentary about Pele provided an interesting look back at the footballer’s life and career.
Pele’s legendary career
Pele is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time. He began his career at Brazilian club Santos when he was just 15, scoring on his debut. A year later, he was selected to represent the Brazil national football team.
He’s the joint all-time leading goal scorer for Brazil – Neymar matched his record at the 2022 World Cup – with 77 goals in 92 games. At club level, Pele is all-time top goal scorer at Santos, with an amazing 643 goals in 659 official games.
In club matches overall there is a discrepancy in his amazing total when exhibition matches are taken into consideration. Santos states Pele scored 1,283 goals in 1,367 matches, while Fifa claims it was 1,281 goals in 1,366 games. It’s incredible whoever is correct!
Pele became a global star at just 17 as Brazil won the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. He scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Wales in the quarter-finals, a hat-trick against France in the semi-final and two in a 5-2 triumph over the hosts in the final, the BBC reports. Pele remains the only player to have won three World Cups following further triumphs in 1962 and 1970.
He finished his club career in the US as part of a star-studded New York Cosmos side. The Brazilian helped the club win three championships in four years.
Following his death, the Brazilian Football Confederation stated: “Pele was much more than the greatest sportsperson of all time. Our king of football was the greatest exponent of a victorious Brazil, who was never afraid when faced with difficulty. He promised his father a World Cup and he presented us with three.”