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RIP Pele: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Others Pen Heartfelt Tributes for the Icon

Three-time World Cup-winning legend, Pele passed away on 29 December.

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The football fraternity came to a universal standstill on Thursday, 29 December, as Brazilian legend Pele passed away at the age of 82. After a prolonged battle with colon cancer, the sporting icon breathed his last at Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital.

Pele had won three World Cup titles for Brazil – in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He is the only player in the history of the game with this unique achievement, while the Guinness Book of World Records also recognises him as the player with the most goals (1279).

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Following his death, eminent football and sporting personalities from across the globe penned their heartfelt tributes to the legend. Here is how the sports fraternity reacted to the news:

Neymar, who currently holds the record of being the joint-highest scorer for Brazil with 77 goals, wrote on Instagram “Before Pelé, 10 was just a number. 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. 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 eternal!’

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FIFA World Cup 2022 winner and Argentine legend, Lionel Messi posted images of him with Pele on Instagram, with the caption “Rest in peace, Pele.

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo wrote “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.”

France’s World Cup-winning starlet, Kylian Mbappe stated “The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP.”

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Some other reactions to the legend's passing away:

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Topics:  Pele   Pele Tribute   Pele Death 

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