- Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. have led the football world in paying tribute to Brazilian legend Pele.
- Former US President Barack Obama also paid his tribute, describing Pele as one of the most recognizable athletes of all time.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have led the football world in paying tribute to Brazilian legend Pele.
Pele passed away on Thursday, December 29, after battling kidney and prostrate ailments. The news of Pele’s death was confirmed by his daughter Kely Nascimento on Instagram.
She posted a photo of Pele’s family holding his hands and captioned it, “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”
Kely Nascimento has been updating the fans about Pele’s health since he was readmitted to hospital in late November.
Since the news of Pele’s death went viral, football players, legends and fans have paid tribute to the tragic passing on of the legendary footballer.
Cristiano Ronaldo described Pele as an inspiration to many while sending his condolences to the family.
“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.” Cristiano Ronaldo posted on Instagram.
World Cup winner Lionel Messi was also keen to offer his condolences to Pele’s family after his death. He posted his picture, and Pele then captioned it, “Rest in Peace.”
Neymar Jr. had a lot to say about Pele, describing how he had a massive impact on and off the pitch.
“Before Pelé, ’10’ was just a number. I would say that before Pelé, football was just a sport. Pelé changed everything. He transformed football into art, into entertainment.” Part of Neymar Jr.’s post read.
Kylian Mbappe referred to Pele as the king of football whose legacy will never be forgotten.
Erling Haaland summed up Pele’s influence on the beautiful game by saying, “Everything you see any player doing, Pele did it first.”
Pele was an icon; thus, athletes from other sports and world leaders also paid tribute to the Brazilian hero.
Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said there has never been a No. 10 like Pele.
“Few Brazilians took the name of our country as far as he did. There has never been a number 10 like him. Thank you, Pele. Luiz Inacio posted on social media.
Former US President Barack Obama also paid his tribute, describing Pele as one of the most recognizable athletes of all time.
Pele is the only player in history to win three FIFA World Cups.