Neymar and Ronaldo publish emotional tributes to Pelé

The world of football is in mourning for Pelé, who has died at the age of 82.

The three-time World Cup winner is a sporting icon across the planet, but none more so than in his native Brazil, where he inspired generations and generations of footballers.

Neymar and Ronaldo were just two of those who have followed in his footsteps over the decades.

Neymar scored his 77th international goal during the recent World Cup to match Pelé’s all-time record for the Selecao. Ronaldo, meanwhile, was perhaps the biggest superstar Brazil had produced since the big man himself burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s.

64 years after the 1958 World Cup, when Pelé catapulted himself into football history with six goals in the number 10 shirt, Neymar wears the same Brazil shirt.

“Before Pelé, 10 was just a number,” said the Paris Saint-Germain player.

“I have read this sentence somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, precious, is incomplete. I would say that before Pele football was just a sport. Pele has changed everything.

“He turned football into art, into entertainment. He gave a voice to the poor, to the blacks and above all: he gave visibility to Brazil.

“Football and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He’s gone, but his magic lives on.

“Pele is FOREVER!!”

Ronaldo, who scored 62 goals for Brazil and won the World Cup in 1994 and 2002, highlighted how Pelé stood the test of time like no other.

“Unique. wow technician creative perfect Unique”, began the retired striker.

“Wherever Pelé arrived, he stayed. Without ever leaving the top, he leaves us today. The king of football – only one. The greatest of all time.

“The world of mourning. The sadness of separation mingles with the immense pride of written history. What a privilege to come after you my friend. Your talent is a school that all players should go through. Your legacy will transcend generations. And so it will stay alive.

“Today and always, we celebrate you. Thank you, Pele. Rest in peace.”

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