- Nasima Akter
People Around the World Pay Tribute to Pele
Fans and footballers everywhere are mourning the passing of former player and legend Pele. Following the announcement of his passing on Thursday, multiple tributes are being done to honour and mourn the man.
The moment his passing was announced, a flood of fans flocked to the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo. They were seen crying and waving Santos flags with a hung banner reading, “Eternal King Pele.”
Other fans had to leave flowers outside the stadium of the club where Pele spent most of his career. The night after the announcement, Pelé's face shone on buildings across the South American nation, and landmarks were lit up in his memory. Fans also took to the streets dressed in his iconic number 10 shirt.
More than fans showing respect to the football icon, several prominent people and organizations paid tribute to Pele in different ways.
Many football players took to social media to share messages and tributes to Pele and their memories of him. Among them was Brazil star forward Neymar. He had taken to Instagram and written an emotional message in memory of the player.
“Before Pele, 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 Pele football was just a sport. Pele has changed it all,” Neymar said. “He turned football into art, into entertainment He gave voice to the poor, to the blacks, and especially: He gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He’s gone but his magic remains. Pele is FOREVER!!”
Players around the world paid their respects to the man. They included Argentina captain Lionel Messi, former England striker Sir Geoff Hurst, Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, and Franz Beckenbauer, who was one of the few players that knew Pelé both as a teammate and as a rival.
In addition to fans and footballers, several other prominent figures and organizations paid tribute to Pele. The Football Association had announced that Wembley’s arch would be lit up in Brazil colors in Pele’s memory. The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro was also illuminated in the colors of the Brazilian flag.
Recently, it was reported that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had posted its tribute on social media.
On their Instagram page, they posted a photo of a beautiful galaxy with the caption, "We mark the passing of the legendary Pele, known to many as the king of the "beautiful game." This image of a spiral galaxy in the constellation sculptor shows the colors of Brazil."
Pele was an outstanding footballer that made a mark in football history. He had scored a world record of 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career. He was also the only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962, and 1970. In 2000 Pelé was named FIFA’s Player of the Century.
Sadly, the player had been experiencing deteriorating health for the past few months due to cancer plus kidney and heart problems. Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, was the one to confirm his death on social media on Thursday.
So far it’s been reported that the South-eastern city, Santos, declared seven days of mourning, and Brazil declared three days of national mourning. Pelé's wake will be held on Monday at the Santos Football club.