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Neymar Jr., Cristiano Ronaldo among those grieving loss of Brazilian soccer star Pelé

The soccer world is grieving the loss of one of its eternal legends, Brazilian star Pelé, who died at age 82 on Thursday. 

Pelé has been battling colon cancer for quite some time, and his team posted to social media that he did pass away from his battle. 

“Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. Love, love and love, forever,” the caption on Twitter read. 

Many around the world offered their condolences to Pelé’s family, including the man that wears his No. 10 for Brazil today: Neymar Jr. 

“Before Pelé, 10 was just a number,” Neymar wrote 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. 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 FOREVER!!”


Pelé helped to win a record three World Cups over his illustrious career, and a man who finally got his first in his final appearance, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, simply said, “Rest in peace” on Instagram as well. 

Cristiano Ronaldo, another soccer legend, paid his respects to a man he knew quite well. 

“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 King Pelé,” Ronald wrote on Instagram. 

There’s much more love and respect for Pelé, as the Brazilian National Team posted on Twitter. 

France superstar Kylian Mbappe also paid his respects. 

The Premier League and several teams within it gave their condolences. 


German star Mesut Özil shared the same sentiment as others, saying, “Your legacy will live forever.”

And Pelé stardom reached further than soccer, as Jamaician sprinter Usain Bolt shared some words. 

Pelé had a tumor removed in September 2021 and had been undergoing chemotherapy since then. He was admitted into the hospital in late November, with his daughter saying that it was to regulate his medication. However, in recent weeks, his condition worsened, and he was put into palliative care just a few days later.

Pelé helped Brazil to win two more World Cup trophies — at the 1962 World Cup in Chile and the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Brazil crashed out in the first round of the 1966 World Cup in England, having only played three matches. 

Legendary Soccer player Pele attends the Fifth Avenue Flagship Opening at Hublot Boutique on April 19, 2016, in New York City.

Neymar and Pelé are tied for the most international goals scored in Brazil’s history with 77. 

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