Pele, perhaps the greatest and most loved footballer in the world, died at the age of 82. His death was mourned by the entire football fraternity and by scores of fans not just in Brazil but all over the world. Three of this generations most highly rated footballers, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazilian Neymar paid their tribute to the legend.
Football legend Pele “transformed football into an art,” said Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar in a tribute to his country’s greatest sporting icon. “Before Pele, ’10’ was just a number,” the heir to Pele’s famed jersey number wrote on Instagram, alongside two pictures of himself with the late legend. “But that beautiful sentence is incomplete. I would say that before Pele, football was just a sport. He transformed football into an art, into entertainment… Football and Brazil gained status thanks to the King. He has gone, but his magic will remain. Pele is ETERNAL!”
Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi bid Brazilian football hero Pele farewell in a tweet Thursday with photos of himself and “The King” taken in happier times. “Rest in peace, Pele,” Messi wrote after the announcement that Pele had died in hospital at the age of 82 after a fight with cancer.
Cristiano Ronaldo also paid his tribute to Pele in a long note on Instagram along with a photograph with the Brazil legend.
“My deep condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Edson Arantes do Nascimento. A mere “goodbye” to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that the entire football world is currently embracing. An inspiration to so many millions, a reference yesterday, today and forever. The love you always showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared even from distance. He will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in each and every one of us football lovers. Rest in peace King Pelé,” Ronaldo wrote,
Pele breathed his last following colon cancer, for which he was undergoing chemotherapy. However, he stopped responding to chemotherapy and was shifted to palliative care. Pele had a tumour removed from his colon in 2021 and was taking chemotherapy ever since.
(With AFP inputs)
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