Neymar leads world of football’s tributes to Brazil great Pele

The world of football has paid tribute to Pele following his death aged 82 (Derek Millward/PA) (PA Wire)
The world of football has paid tribute to Pele following his death aged 82 (Derek Millward/PA) (PA Wire)
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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.

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’

Pele’s former Brazilian club Santos paid tribute by posting a crown on Twitter with the word ‘Eterno’ (Eternal).

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”.

England paid tribute to Pele by lighting up the Wembley Arch in Brazil’s iconic colours.

Pele scored his first Brazil goal as a 17-year-old to knock Wales out of the 1958 World Cup.

World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst had no hesitation calling Pele the “greatest of all time”.

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

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.

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

Franz Beckenbauer

England captain Harry Kane described Pele as a “great inspiration”.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland said Pele did everything in football first.

Wales captain Gareth Bale said Pele was the reason so many people love football.

The Premier League said Pele inspired “millions” of people throughout his career.

Pele transcended football – as shown in a tweet from former Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt.

Even American Presidents recognised Pele’s greatness.

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.