Pelé the Great

As the world mourns the great Pelé, Hublot and Ricardo Guadalupe pay tribute to a global sporting icon, a great humanitarian – and a true friend.

The Hublot family learned with great sorrow of the passing of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to the world simply and affectionately as Pelé. In Nyon and around the world, Hublot joined together in mourning their great friend and in offering their most heartfelt condolences to his wife Marcia and his family. Hublot loves Pelé – now and always!

“ We are so greatly saddened to learn of Pelé’s passing,” says Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO, Hublot. “He was the King of Football, an icon, a champion and a truly great human being. And he was our friend. Today, we celebrate his extraordinary life and his incredible achievements and remember a man who knew what it meant to be First, Unique, Different. Pelé was a pioneer both on and off the football pitch. His performances and his passion on the field of play will never be forgotten, and his legacy in bringing change and justice for those who need it most will inspire others for generations to come. Truly, he was a great man and we are honoured to have known him, to have collaborated with him and to have called him our friend. Pelé, we will miss you, but you will always be with us. Hublot loves Pelé!”

Pelé shot to international fame as a teenager playing for his native Brazil and would go on to win the FIFA World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970, making him the only player in history to lift the trophy on three occasions. He was a prolific goalscorer. Still today, his record of 1,279 goals in 1,363 games stands as a Guinness World Record. He is also his country’s leading goalscorer with 77 goals in 92 games. In 1999, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee, and on the occasion of its centenary, FIFA named him and Diego Maradona as the Players of the Century. In Brazil, he is known as “The King”.

Following his retirement in 1977, Pelé devoted himself to humanitarianism. He became an international ambassador for sport, peace and understanding, championing a number of causes close to his heart and using the common language of football to break down barriers. He campaigned for an end to leprosy in Brazil and in 1994 became a UNICEF ambassador, raising awareness of the plight of disadvantaged children around the world.

In 2013, Pelé was welcomed into the Hublot family, becoming a Hublot Ambassador. Ahead of the 2014 FIFA World CupTM in Brazil, it was Pelé who unveiled the Hublot Official Countdown Clock, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, and the Hublot Fourth Official Number Board. Hublot, the first luxury Swiss watch company in football, also partnered with Pelé to build a football pitch in the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, opened during the World Cup the same year.

On the eve of UEFA EURO 2016TM, Hublot helped organize the Match of Friendship between two teams led out by Pelé and Maradona. The last public event where Hublot welcomed King Pelé was in 2019 with Hublot Ambassador Kylian Mbappé, the young Paris St Germain and France star who in 2018 became the youngest player since Pelé to score in a World Cup final.

Pelé died peacefully on December 29, 2022, surrounded by his family. He brought a new dimension to football, to humanitarianism and to Hublot. He was a truly great champion, footballer and human being. Thank you Pelé.


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

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A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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