After one of the most memorable World Cups in history, the global football community gathered again on Thursday at the news that Brazilian football legend Pele has died at the age of 82.
Pelé won three World Cups during his playing days and is considered by many to be the greatest and most influential footballer in history, forging links with future generations of football stars such as the current French star Kylian Mbappé and the current Brazilian captain Neymar.
Several players and soccer legends, including Mbappé, Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, joined the soccer community in mourning Pelé’s death on social media on Thursday.
Other stars also paid tribute, including Brazilian players Casemiro, Richarlison and Marcelo, LAFC striker and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, and England star (and Casemiro’s Manchester United team-mate) Marcus Rashford.
‘The world is in mourning’
Pele’s Brazilian legend Ronaldo offered a detailed tribute on Twitter.
The message of Pelé’s daughter
Pre-match tributes to England, France
Former President Obama: ‘He understood the power of sports to bring people together’
Tim Weah cries ‘Papa Pele’
United States forward Tim Weah scored the USMNT’s first goal of the 2022 World Cup and later received congratulations on Instagram from Pelé himself. Weah took to Instagram on Thursday to mourn Pele.
Reunited with Diego Maradona
Pelé had a long rivalry that turned into a friendship with Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona, who died in 2020. After Maradona’s death, Pelé said he hoped to play with his friend “in heaven” someday.
Pelé’s last Instagram post before his death congratulated Messi and the current Argentina team on winning the 2022 World Cup, saying “Surely Diego is smiling now.”
“When we were talking about the biggest one, there was only one”
Longtime soccer commentators Derek Rae and Ian Darke were among many members of the FOX Sports 2022 FIFA World Cup crew to share their memory of Pelé.
Pelé made it “the beautiful game”
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