Neymar leads world of football’s tributes to Brazil great Pele
The world of football paid tribute to Brazil great Pele following his death at the age of 82.
Here are some of the tributes paid to the player considered by many to be the greatest of all time.
Neymar – who equalled Pele’s record of 77 goals for Brazil at the World Cup – said his predecessor in the national team’s number 10 shirt “turned football into art, into entertainment” and “gave a voice to the poor, to black people.”
The Brazilian Football Federation posted a tribute saying ‘RIP Pele’ with three crown emojis.
REI PELÉ 👑👑👑 pic.twitter.com/epP8zZHRYr
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) December 29, 2022
World Cup winner Lionel Messi paid tribute to Pele on Instagram.
Cristiano Ronaldo said Pele’s memory will “endure forever in every one of us who love football”.
France star Kylian Mbappe called Pele the ‘King of Football’
The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.
RIP KING 💔👑… pic.twitter.com/F55PrcM2Ud
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) December 29, 2022
Pele’s former Brazilian club Santos paid tribute by posting a crown on Twitter with the word ‘Eterno’ (Eternal).
— Santos FC (@SantosFC) December 29, 2022
Pele played for the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League between 1975 and 1977.
Brazil’s Chelsea defender Thiago Silva said Pele had “changed the history of football”.
Forever the King of football, the Legend! 👑 Rest in peace, Pelé. 🙏
You have changed the History of football. Your legacy will always be in our hearts.
Thanks for everything!#ThiagoSilva #TS6 #OhhhThiagoSilva #Pelé #ReiPelé #PeléEterno pic.twitter.com/lobQlPreQg
— Thiago Silva (@tsilva3) December 29, 2022
England paid tribute to Pele by lighting up the Wembley Arch in Brazil’s iconic colours.
Paying tribute to a true football icon.
Rest in peace, Pelé 💛💚 pic.twitter.com/iw1p164Jo8
— England (@England) December 29, 2022
Pele scored his first Brazil goal as a 17-year-old to knock Wales out of the 1958 World Cup.
Pele broke our hearts in 1958 to score his first World Cup goal to knock Cymru out. Today our hearts are broken again.
A true sporting legend. Our thoughts are with the people of Brazil and the world football family.
Gorffwys mewn hedd, Pele.#TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/OJT6QjOfkv
— FA WALES (@FAWales) December 29, 2022
World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst had no hesitation calling Pele the “greatest of all time”.
I have so many memories of Pele, without doubt the best footballer I ever played against (with Bobby Moore being the best footballer I ever played alongside). For me Pele remains the greatest of all time and I was proud to be on the the pitch with him. RIP Pele and thank you. pic.twitter.com/oCpQlw7EIK
— Sir Geoff Hurst (@TheGeoffHurst) December 29, 2022
FIFA and UEFA both saluted Pele’s football legacy.
His life is about more than football. His legacy is impossible to summarise in words
FIFA president Gianni Infantino
Tonight, we join fans the world over in mourning Pelé, one of football's all-time greatest players.
He was the first global superstar of the game and played a pioneering role in football's rise to become the world's most popular sport.
Rest in peace, Pelé.
— UEFA (@UEFA) December 29, 2022
England great Sir Bobby Charlton played against Pele at the 1970 World Cup.
Pele was a truly magical footballer and a wonderful human being. It was an honour to have shared a pitch with him and I send my sincerest condolences to his family, friends and the Brazilian people
Sir Bobby Charlton
Former England striker and television presenter Gary Lineker said Pele would always have football immortality.
Pele has died. The most divine of footballers and joyous of men. 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 Pele
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) December 29, 2022
Franz Beckenbauer played with Pele towards the end of their careers at the New York Cosmos in the United States.
Today, football lost the greatest man in its history – and I lost a unique friend. We became champions together (at New York Cosmos) right away, and Pele then just called me his brother. It was an unimaginable honour for me
England captain Harry Kane described Pele as a “great inspiration”.
Pele was a true inspiration and one of the greatest to ever play the game. Rest in peace. https://t.co/pmfAKTd7ZY
— Harry Kane (@HKane) December 29, 2022
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland said Pele did everything in football first.
Everything you see any player doing, Pelé did it first. RIP ⚽️🤴🏿 pic.twitter.com/SeW0z1hQTm
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) December 29, 2022
Wales captain Gareth Bale said Pele was the reason so many people love football.
A giant of the game and the reason so many of us love football. Rest in peace, legend. 👑 @Pele pic.twitter.com/biAlOTnIaT
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) December 29, 2022
The Premier League said Pele inspired “millions” of people throughout his career.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Pele, an extraordinarily gifted footballer who transcended our sport and inspired millions throughout his remarkable career.
Our thoughts and sincere condolences go to Pele’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/ocr5KF239t
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 29, 2022
Pele transcended football – as shown in a tweet from former Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt.
A Sporting Legend.
Rest in Peace King Pele 🕊️ pic.twitter.com/AmehPBOR30
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) December 29, 2022
Even American Presidents recognised Pele’s greatness.
Pelé was one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game. And as one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, he understood the power of sports to bring people together. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who loved and admired him. pic.twitter.com/urGRDePaPv
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 29, 2022
Former Tottenham and Argentina midfielder Osvaldo Ardiles featured alongside Pele in the 1981 film ‘Escape to Victory’. Hollywood A-listers Sylvester Stallone, Sir Michael Caine and Max Von Sydow also starred.
The King of Kings has died. Extraordinary player. Unique. 3 times World Cup winner, more than a thousand goals. My idol when young. He made football the beautiful game and truly international. My time playing alongside him in Escape to Victory was a dream come true. RIP Pele pic.twitter.com/ovlL3rA4h5
— osvaldo ardiles (@osvaldooardiles) December 29, 2022