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Monday, February 26, 2024

Brazilian legend, Pele dies at 82

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Neymar, Brazil’s joint-highest scorer in men’s international football alongside Pele, shared an emotional tribute to his idol following his passing.

“‘Before Pelé, 10, was just a number’,” Neymar, who wears the No 10 for Brazil and also started his career with Santos, wrote in a post on Instagram.

“I’ve read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful, is incomplete.

“I would say before Pelé football was just a sport. Pelé has changed it all. He turned football into art, into entertainment.

“He gave voice to the poor, to black people and especially: he 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.”

The former striker, who is the only player in history to win three World Cups, passed away at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo following a battle with cancer.

Pele, who is Brazil’s joint all-time top scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches, became an icon of the game after winning the World Cup in 1958 as a 17-year-old, netting twice in the final to defeat hosts Sweden.

A message from Pele’s official Twitter account on Thursday read: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever.”

Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, who has provided updates on her father’s health from hospital, wrote on Instagram: “Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.”

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