Football greats lead flood of tributes to G.O.A.T. Pelé | The Guardian Nigeria News
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Pele celebrates after leading Brazil to a third World Cup success in 1970, in Mexico.
(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 31, 1990 Former Brazilian soccer star, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé (L), plays the ball during a friendly soccer match opposing Brazil to world soccer star to celebrate Pele’s fiftieth birtday in Milan. – Brazilian football icon Pele, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and a three-time World Cup winner who masterminded the ‘beautiful game’, died on December 29, 2022 at the age of 82, after battling kidney problems and colon cancer. (Photo by Gerard MALIE / AFP)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 15, 2018 legendary Brazilian footballer Pele, smiles during the opening event of the 2018 Carioca Football Championship at Cidade das Artes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. – Brazilian football icon Pele, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and a three-time World Cup winner who masterminded the ‘beautiful game’, died on December 29, 2022 at the age of 82, after battling kidney problems and colon cancer. (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP)
Pele and daughter Kely
A picture taken on December 3, 2022, in Doha, during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament, shows the Torch tower of Doha also known as the Aspire Tower, lit by a screen depicting Brazilian star Pele and reading a message in support to the former Brazilian football player who is being treated for a “respiratory infection” at the hospital in Sao Paulo. – Brazilian football legend Pele, who was hospitalized this week amid ongoing cancer treatments, has developed a respiratory infection, but is in stable condition and “showing general improvement,” his doctors said Friday, December 2. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP)
Football greats led the flood of tributes to Pelé after the man widely regarded as the greatest of all time died at age 82 following a colon cancer battle.
Geoff Hurst, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, and Gary Lineker were among those who hailed the three-time World Cup winning record breaker—nicknamed ‘The King”—in the minutes after his daughter announced he had passed away on Thursday.
Hurst, 81, who became the first man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final in England’s 4–2 victory over West Germany at Wembley Stadium in 1966, said: “I have so many memories of Pelé, without doubt the best footballer I ever played against (with Bobby Moore being the best footballer I ever played alongside.) For me, Pelé remains the greatest of all time, and I was proud to be on the pitch with him. RIP Pelé, and thank you.”
PSG and Brazil star Neymar, 31, who wears the No. 10 for Brazil and equalled Pelé’s scoring record for Brazil at the World Cup, said on Instagram: “Before Pelé, 10 was just a number. I’ve read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life.
“Gave voice to the poor, blacks and mostly: Gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He’s gone, but his magic remains. Pelé is FOREVER!!”
Ronaldo, 37, said on Instagram: “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 a 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.”
Mbappé, 24, posted alongside a photo of his hero: “The king of football has left us, but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP KING.”
Messi, 35, regarded with Pelé as one of two of the best footballers in history, said on Instagram alongside pictures of him with ‘The King’: “Rest in peace.”
Lineker, 62, said: “Pelé has died. The most divine of footballers and joyous of men.”
The former England international, who finished as the top scorer at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, added: “He played a game only a few chosen ones have come close to. 3 times he lifted the most coveted gold trophy in that beautiful yellow shirt. He may have left us, but he’ll always have footballing immortality. RIP Pelé.”
Full Story: https://guardian.ng/sport/football-greats-lead-flood-of-tributes-to-g-o-a-t-pele/
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