‘Forever A Legend’: Football World Pays Tribute To Brazilian Legend, Pele

December 30th, 2022

“King” Pele “changed everything”, says Brazil forward Neymar as tributes pour in for the late footballing legend

Arguably the greatest player ever, Pele died at the age of 82 on Thursday and current and former players took to social media to pay their respects.

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The Football Governing Body of South America, CONMEBOL opend the tributes via Facebook page said: “Already light up the sky the king’s star, the first 10, the player with the most World Cups. Thank you for putting South America on top. Will be missed, you will always shines in our hearts.”

“Before Pele, football was only a sport,” Neymar wrote on Instagram.

“Pele changed everything. He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave a voice to the poor, to black people.”

Neymar added:

“Mainly: he gave visibility to Brazil. Football and Brazil raised their status thanks to the King! He is gone, but his magic will remain.”

Neymar’s French Paris St-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe also described Pele as “the king of football”, adding “his legacy will never be forgotten”.

Pele is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career, including 77 goals in 92 matches for his country.

The only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970, Pele was named FIFA’s Player of the Century in 2000.

The recent world champion with Argentina, Lionel Messi, also took to social media to comment on Pele’s death.

Leo wrote a simple:

“Rest in peace, @pele” accompanied with three images, two in which he can be seen next to ‘O Rei’ and one in which the Brazilian star can be seen celebrating with the Canarinha.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo said:

“A mere goodbye to the eternal King Pele will never be enough to express the pain that is enveloping the whole of the football world right now.

“The care he always showed for me was reciprocated in every moment we shared, even when we were apart.

“His memory will endure forever in every one of us who love football.”

President of the United States Joe Biden said:

“For a sport that brings the world together like no other, Pele’s rise from humble beginnings to soccer legend is a story of what is possible.”

President of football’s world governing body Fifa, Gianni Infantino said he was “heartbroken” on “a truly tragic day for football” and described Pele as “the athlete of the century”.

Infantino continued:

“Pele tried things that no other player would even dream of, such as the famous dummy in the 1970 World Cup semi-final that became known as the ‘Pele run-around’.

“He had a magnetic presence and, when you were with him, the rest of the world stopped. Today, the whole world mourns the loss of Pele; the greatest footballer of all time.”

Richarlison, one of several current Brazil players who paid tribute, described Pele as football’s “most beautiful chapter” and said he “changed the history of the game forever”.

Richarlison continued:

“You will always be the greatest because 60 years ago, with all the difficulties you faced, you did what only a few have managed to do today.”

England’s World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst said Pele was “without doubt the best football I ever played against”, adding: “I was proud to be on the pitch with him.”

was the “first global superstar”

The Premier League praised Pele’s remarkable career, calling him an “extraordinarily gifted footballer”

The Football Association of Wales said Pele broke their hearts when he brought down the team’s hopes of a World Cup victory in 1958, and “today our hearts are broken again”

Manchester City and Norway striker Erling Haaland is on course to be one of the most prolific footballers to have ever played the game, but he rightly points out that anything any player is doing now, Pele did it first.

‘Everything you see a player doing, Pele did it first’.