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Pelé dies, last minute and live reactions | All the news about ‘O Rei’

New York Cosmos soccer legends Pele(L) and Franz Beckenbauer pose at the Empire State Building April 17, 2015 in New York at an event to launch the start of the teams 2015 spring season. The teams home opener will take place against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on April 18, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO /  TIMOTHY  A. CLARY

RIP Pelé: O Rei remembered - live tributes

"Pele had amazing patience. He had empathy, humility. He was warm, close."

Speaking to Sid Lowe of the Guardian, former Brazilian international Léo Junior has told of his ex-teammate as a person and as a player. 

"Pelé was the greatest for everyone from our generation. It’s hard to express what he meant to us. He had been the best for me from an early age, and thinking of him always brings to mind my grandmother. Santos used to play their big games at the Maracanã rather than in São Paulo: games against teams such as Garrincha’s Botafogo, or Milan.

"But it was about Santos, Pelé. Whenever they came, whenever he did, my grandmother would take me. It was a party, a celebration, every time. I remember the Milan game especially. There used to be this doubt about whether he could do it against European defenders, like he had to prove something; people wondered whether he was really that good. And, yes, he was that good. He was, he was!

"Later on I was lucky enough to be able to work with Pelé as a pundit on O Globo TV with Galvão Bueno, the famous Brazilian football commentator. What was it like to work with Pelé? Easy. He made it so. We didn’t call him Pelé; we called him Rei because he was the king. But he never, ever acted like that. Quite the opposite. He never put himself above anyone, he never looked down.

"I got to know Pelé the man. He would spend so much time with people, sign so many autographs, be there for everyone. He had amazing patience. He had empathy, humility. He was warm, close."

Antony pays tribute to Pelé

Ahead of Manchester United's match against Wolves on Saturday morning, Brazilian winger Antony paid tribute to the late Pelé.

Santos uniform pays homage to Pelé

Pelé spent most of his career with Santos FC, and the club will be dedicating their new jersey to their greatest player ever.

Obama pays tribute to The King

Former president Barack Obama says that Pelé showed the power that sports had to bring people together.

Judging from the smile that he was flashing in this photo, it seems he was a big fan of the soccer legend.

Pelé's message to Maradona after the Argentine passed away in 2020 wished that “One day, I hope we can play ball together in heaven.”

This video is a precious example of how the two legends would look like playing together.

Modric pays his respects

Luka Modric on Twitter: "O Rei. One of the greatest of all time. You will be a legend forever. RIP Pele."

Pelé vs Plymouth

This is a brilliant read from the team at When Saturday Comes.

It feels like we could talk about the great man forever...

Pelé had shares in Aberdeen before Trump

Ryan Cryle provides the lesser known story from the Granite City.

Dons (as Scottish club Aberdeen are known) Twitter was ablaze on Thursday evening after well-known supporter Ally Begg shared an image, sent to him by friend Nick Archibald, which showed a certificate for one £1 share in the Pittodrie club made out to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, a.k.a. Pele.

News of the three-time World Cup winner’s death from cancer, aged 82, had been confirmed in the hours before Begg’s viral post.

Pele’s Aberdeen share certificate was issued on September 5, 2000, with Kintore-based Nick, 52, paying £60 for it after discovering the unique piece of memorabilia on an online auction site in 2016.

THAT save from Pelé in 1970

"Banks defies belief with a stunning save."

You'll need to watch it a few more times to truly appreciate it.

Banks and Pelé

We hope they are in thoughtful discussion over THAT save.

Legends of the Beautiful Game.

"Football is football" because of the likes of Pelé - Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola likened the legacy left behind by Pele to the script of a movie today, saying football would not be what it was without the Brazilian soccer legend.

Pele, a prolific goalscorer who won the World Cup an unprecedented three times as a player in 1958, 1962 and 1970, died on Thursday aged 82 after a long battle with cancer.

'On behalf of Manchester City, biggest condolences to his family. Football is football thanks to these types of people, players and human beings,' Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday's Premier League game against Everton.

'I think Neymar said it, before the number 10 was just a number and after it became something special - every top player wants to wear it for their team. What he has done for football is there and always will remain.

'He didn't just win three World Cups - it was a new thing when he came up. I was not born when he was playing but it's like a good movie, no? The legacy after many years is still there.'

Guardiola added that Pele had the potential to be successful in any era of the sport.

'When I was in the academy at Barcelona I had a physiotherapist who was in love with Brazil and Pele. And after when I was nine or ten, I started to watch some clips,' Guardiola said.

'Now I realise he was so strong and could do everything. People say that rhythm was completely different. These type of players, if he was playing now, he would adapt to the rhythm and the pace.

'He was so intuitive and in skills and mentality, he could play in every generation. Everyone has their own greatest.'

Wembley Arch lit up in yellow and green light last night.


Beckenbauer: "I've lost a great friend"

Franz Beckenbauer was one of the few players that knew Pelé both as a team mate and as a rival. They played together at the New York Cosmos during the mid-70s where they forged a great friendship. El Kaiser spoke about his former team mate and said that it feels like a double loss for him: "Football has lost the greatest and I have lost a friend".

Beckenbauer also made the connection between Pele and his Brazilian birthplace Três Corações, which translates as Three Hearts. “He was a person with three hearts - one for football, one for his family and another for the people. He was somebody who played with the stars but always had his feet on the ground," he told Kicker.

The former West Germany captain added that he only joined the Cosmos in 1977 to be able to play alongside Pelé. "That era was one of the best of my life. We were champions together and Pelé started to call me his brother. That was an incredible honour for me. Football will always be yours, you will live on forever, thank you for what you did, O Rei".

"You always will be the inspiration for future generations! Thank you for accepting me as your friend! Thank you for inviting me to your 50th anniversary game! Thank you for including me in your of the greatest players. You are the only one who has been crown world champions three times! You are the King, Pelé! Thank you for everything and rest in peace!"

Hristo Stoichkov, Former player

When you think about Pelé, it's impossible not to think about some of the other players who had something special about them. Matt Le Tissier for example, he told GB News: "Without question, he was the greatest player of his generation. I think, when you talk about the greatest player of all-time it's very difficult to compare players of different generations but with him, you only have to look at the other great players of the time to hear what they said about Pelé, to know just how special he was. The likes of Cruyff and Beckenbauer talked about him as though he lived on another planet".

Condolences to Pelé's family from another of football's maverick's - Ronaldinho

...and here's the proof.

Cafu concurs with Erling Haaland: Everything you see any player doing, Pelé did it first...

The Vatican remembers

In July 2009, Pelé gave an interview to L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican City State newspaper, in which he thanked God for "giving me the gift of playing soccer - because it really is a gift from God  - and my father taught me to use it, he taught me the importance of always being ready and prepared, and that in addition to being a good player I should also be a good man".

More tributes from the football world. Pelé was revered all over the world. Italian giants Inter Milan paid their respects.

From one king to another

Tennis legend Rafa Nadal is often referred to as the King of Clay and the Spaniard has publicly shared his tribute to O Rei.

'Today another great from the sporting world is gone. A sad day for the world of football, for the world of sport. His legacy will always remain. I didn't see him play, I wasn't that lucky, but they always taught me and told me that he was the King of football. ​​​​​​​RIP'

​​​​​​​What beautiful words.

Pelé: a real and virtual king

O Rei. The King of soccer. The greatest of all time, some say.  The soccer family mourns, but his story will remain forever written in fire.

His achievements with the ball, especially his 1281 goals in 1363 games, made his achievements transcend beyond the pitch. The video game industry would not be missed out, and the Brazilian even starred in his own adventure game over the years.

We take a look at his career in the industry.

Neymar pays his respects

Here's Neymar's personal tribute to O Rei, translated from Portuguese:

"Before Pelé, 10 was just a number. 'I remember reading that phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But that phrase, beautiful as it is, is incomplete. I would say before Pelé, football was just a sport. Pelé changed everything. He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave a voice to the poor, blacks and most of all, he gave exposure to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He's gone but his magic lives on. Pelé is FOREVER!!'

Sir Geoff Hurst salutes greatest rival

Former England striker Sir Geoff Hurst said he is honoured to be able to say that he played against the great man who for him, is the best player football has ever seen.

Every soccer commercial Pelé starred in


Every soccer commercial Pelé starred in

He was a genius out on the pitch and a big draw for advertisers. Pelé was the face of many brands and products from the 1970s up until quite recently. A natural in front of the camera, we take a look at some of the more memorable ads he starred in.

Pelé and his secret passion for becoming a goalkeeper


Pelé and his secret passion for becoming a goalkeeper

According to former teammates, Pelé was such an exceptional goalkeeper that Santos had no need for back-up between the sticks.

The day Necaxa beat Santos de Pelé


The day Necaxa beat Santos de Pelé

Nacaxa are the only Mexican team that can claim the defeated the King of Soccer, when they beat Santos in tournament played in Mexico City in February 1961.

Deschamps: “Who didn’t dream of being like Pelé as a child?”


Deschamps: “Who didn’t dream of being like Pelé as a child?”

France coach Didier Deschamps, tipped his hat to ‘O Rei’ by revealing that he, like thousands of kids, dreamed of playing like Brazil’s number 10 when he was at school.

How many goals did Pelé score in the United States?


How many goals did Pelé score in the United States?

Pelé decided to compete in United States soccer towards the end of his playing years, where he suited up with the New York Cosmos jersey.

"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, Former player, TV pundit

Tributes have been flooding in from stars of other sports, such as Usain Bolt, who is a self-confessed football fan. 

Mbappé and the King

Kylian Mbappé urged the football world to pray for Pelé when the Brazilian legend's health took a turn for the worse before Christmas. He posted a picture taken with O Rei on Twitter and said his legacy will never be forgotten.

When Pelé broke Sly Stallone's finger

If your are a big movie buff, you might know that Pelé and Sylvester Stallone were cast mates in the 1981 film Escape to Victory. What you may not know is Pelé actually broke the Hollywood star’s finger taking a penalty.

"He put on a pair of World War II shoes, which were steel-tipped, and the ball was like a cannonball - it was twice as thick and heavy as footballs are today. He was telling me he was going to take a shot and I thought 'It's soccer, what's the big deal? It's easy.' He came to take one penalty shot and he told me exactly where he was going to put it, so I stood there but the ball still flew past me before I could move".

Kely Nascimento thanks her father

Pelé's daughter Kely Nascimento paid a touching tribute to her father in a post on Instagram. A photo of the family holding hands together in hospital as Pelé's days drew closer to an end. She  captioned the post:  "Everything we are is because of you. We love you forever. Rest in peace."


Santos mourn their most famous son

One of the club that was particularly saddded with the news of Pelé's death was Santos. He spent 18 years at the club, making his debut as a 15-year-old and scoring 1,281 goals.


Tributes to Pelé on the front pages of the world

Pelé's passing was the top sports story and featured across media from around the world on Friday, as newspapers and publications dedicated their front covers to O Rei. Here is a selection from Europe to Asia and the Americas.

Goodison memories

Everton were one of thousands of clubs around the world who pay their own, personal tribute to Pelé. The Merseyside club still remember when they hosted Brazil for all of their group games in the 1966 World Cup, with games against Bulgaria, Hungary and Portugal all played in front of sell-out crowds at Goodison with Pelé in his prime.

Ronaldo pays tribute to Pelé

A legend from a different generation of Brazilian football greats, Ronaldo Nazário, spoke warmly of the great Pelé in a post on his Twitter account: "What a great privilege to have followed you, my friend. Your talent is the school which every footballer should go through. Your legacy transends generations. That is how you will live on. Today and forever, we celebrate you. Thank you Pelé, Rest in Peace".

The world of soccer and sport in general is in mourning today with the sad news that Brazilian icon Pelé had passed away in São Paulo on Thursday. The 82-year-old, who been receiving end-of-life care at the city's Albert Einstein Hospital, was surrounded by family members during his final days.

Pelé's death sparked a wave of tributes from many of the world's top sports personalities and those who knew him, who wanted to celebrate the man and his extraordinary life. In Rio, Christ the Redeemer statue and the Maracanã stadium were both illuminated last night as a sign of respect.

For the rest of today we will be keeping you updated with the latest news on the King of the Beautiful Game and the tributes as they pour in.


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