Sports

Before Pele, 10 was just a number: Neymar


“Before Pele, ’10′ was just a number,” current Brazil striker Neymar wrote after the football great’s death on Thursday at the age of 82. “That line, beautiful, is incomplete. I will say that before Pele, football was just a sport. Pele changed everything. He turned football into art and entertainment. He spoke up for the poor, for the blacks, and most of all, he gave a vision to Brazil. Football and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He’s gone, but his magic will live on.”

Pele has scored 12 goals in 14 World Cup matches and is the only three-time world champion, winning titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970. His death had a particularly big impact on the teams. Generations of Brazilian players idolize him.

Romario, the 1994 World Cup winner, who used Pele’s full name in his post, wrote: “Today Brazil waved goodbye to one of their most illustrious children. “Edson Arantes do Nascimento made the world bow to his talent and put Brazilian football on the altar of the gods. During his lifetime, Pele has inspired generations of athletes. and deserves all the credit.”

Ronaldo, who led Brazil to a fifth World Cup in 2002, described Pele as “Unique. Genius. skilled. Creation. Perfect. Unmatched.”

“What a privilege it is to pursue you, my friend,” Ronaldo wrote. “Your talent is a school every player should attend. Your legacy crosses the generations. And that’s how you’ll go on living.”

Pele is such a revered sports figure that perhaps no athlete can match it but Muhammad Ali. As he comfortably mingled with heads of state and celebrities while evading defenders, Pele made an impact in capitals across continents.

Former US President Barack Obama wrote: “As one of the most famous athletes in the world, he understands the power of sport in bringing people together.

President Joe Biden tweeted: “For a sport that brings the world together like no other, Pele’s rise from humble beginnings to football legend is a story of what is possible. happening.”

Pele’s biggest impact was in Brazil, a unifying figure honored in the 2014 World Cup.

Former Brazilian President and current President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wrote: “I watched Pele play, live at Pacaembu and Morumbi (stadium). he always does something special, often ending with a goal… Few Brazilians understand the name of our country as far as he does. Since one’s language was different from Portuguese, foreigners from the four corners of the planet soon found a magic word pronunciation: ‘Pele.'”

For half a century, only those who knew the name of a football player knew Pele.

France coach Didier Deschamps said in a statement: “He has made people dream and continues to do so for generations and generations of people who love our sport. combination of beauty and efficiency. His talent and list of achievements will be etched in our minds forever.”

French soccer star Kylian Mbappé overtook Pele in sixth place in his World Cup scoring career with a hat-trick in this month’s loss to Argentina in the final. Four years ago, Mbappé became the second teenage player – after Pele – to score in a World Cup final.

“The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten,” Mbappé wrote.

As Pele’s condition worsened last month during the World Cup in Qatar, messages of well-being were illuminated on the sides of buildings in Doha. The Football Association of England lit up the dome of Wembley Stadium in the colors of Brazil on Wednesday night. FIFA, football’s governing body, changed the homepage of the website to a photo of Pele with a black background.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino wrote: “Pele has done things that no other player could have dreamed of. “The scene where he punches him in the air in celebration is one of the most iconic in our sport and is etched in our history. In fact, because televised football was still in his infancy at the time, we only saw glimpses of his abilities.”

When Pele played for the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League from 1975-77, he helped spark the growth of football in the United States, which led to the nation hosting the World Cup in 1994. .

“Pele is truly a remarkable figure – both on and off the field,” said Sunil Gulati, FIFA Council member and former president of the United States Soccer Federation. The world has lost an athlete in his lifetime who left an extraordinary legacy.”

This story has been published from the electronic agency’s feed without any modification to the text. Only the title has been changed.

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