Pele dies: Thiago Silva, Casemiro among Brazil stars to laud ´king of football´

    Thiago Silva called Pelé “forever king of football” as tributes poured in from Brazilian players following the death of the great Selesão on Thursday.

    The three-time world championship winner suffered multiple organ failure after being transferred to a palliative care unit in Sao Paulo earlier in December when his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

    Israel’s Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo confirmed the 82-year-old’s cause of death before tributes poured in from players, clubs and sports organizations.

    Pelé helped Brazil achieve World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970, with no other player in the history of the tournament winning more, and players like Silva and Casemiro joined in the memories of the former striker.

    “Forever king of football, legend!” Chelsea centre-back Silva tweeted along with a crown emoji. “Rest in peace, Pele. You have changed the history of football.

    “Your legacy will always be in our hearts. Thanks for all!”

    Manchester United midfielder Casemiro, who played alongside Silva when Brazil lost in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, echoed a similar sentiment.

    “Rest in peace King Pele. Thank you for the glory you have given Brazil and football. Your legacy is eternal,” he wrote on social media.

    Casemiro’s United teammate Anthony called Pelé an “example”, writing: “The biggest ever! King, inspiration, example, the only, ETERNAL!!

    Pelé’s 77 international goals remain the benchmark among Brazilian players, though Neymar matched that record with a goal in the World Cup quarter-finals against Croatia in Qatar.

    This productive form of the former Santos striker has inspired many of the current Brazilian stars, and the young Real Madrid striker Rodrigo remembered the stories told about Pele.

    He tweeted: “What a shame! December 29 from now on will always be a sad date. We grew up in Santos listening to people talk about you every day, how well you played and what a person you are.

    “Thank God I had the opportunity to meet you in person…”

    Richarlison, who distinguished himself as Brazil’s centre-forward on the world stage in Qatar, added: “Today, football says goodbye to its most beautiful chapter.

    “From a guy who dedicated his thousandth goal to children, stopped wars and showed the whole country that he can do more. You are and always will be incomparable and eternal, King.

    “Thank you and may God welcome you with open arms.”

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