Pelé, a muse for Warhol and other artists


The Brazilian football legend Pelé, who was portrayed by worlds famous artists including Andy Warhol, Elaine de Kooning, Juergen Teller,  Martin Parr has died, aged 82.


Born poor in a small city in Brazil’s southeast, the South American nation’s first millionaire soccer player appeared in ads for gasoline, toothpaste, sugar-cane liquor, bicycles, soda, soccer shoes and Viagra, among other products.


Andy Warhol once said: "Pelé was one of the few who contradicted my theory. Instead of 15 minutes of fame, he will have 15 centuries"


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Andy Warhol (1928-1987) "Pelé"


The Brazilian forward was the greatest footballer of all, and the only man to win three World Cups—in 1958, 1962 and 1970. In 1958, aged 17, he became the youngest-ever winner of a World Cup tournament and the youngest scorer in a World Cup final. 


The US President, Joe Biden, said following Pelé's death: "For a sport that brings the world together like no other, Pelé’s rise from humble beginnings to soccer legend is a story of what is possible."
The World Cup in Qatar opened with the news that Pelé was seriously ill with cancer in a São Paulo hospital. The Brazilian team held a giant banner of Pelé.


There is a substantial Pelé museum in Santos, replete with photographs, shirts and ancient leather boots that act as a reminder of the heavy balls and footwear which Pelé had to contend with when weaving his magic on pitch half a century ago.


Following Pelé's death, the arch at Wembley stadium was lit up in blue and gold. NASA marked the footballer's passing with a photograph of a spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor in the colours of the Brazilian team.



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