Cristiano Ronaldo pays tribute to 'the eternal king' Pele

Cristiano Ronaldo pays tribute to ‘the eternal king’ Pele after the Brazilian legend’s death at 82 and says ‘the love you showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared’

  • Cristiano Ronaldo shared an emotional Instagram message after Pele’s death
  • The Brazilian legend has passed away at 82 following a battle with colon cancer
  • Follow Sportsmail’s LIVE blog for all the latest news after Pele’s tragic passing
  • The three-time World Cup winner was widely regarded as the greatest of all time 

Cristiano has honoured the death of Pele with a heartfelt Instagram post in tribute to the tragic passing of football’s legendary icon. 

The Portuguese forward sent his ‘condolences’ to the former Brazilian striker’s family, before adding that he ‘reciprocated’ all the love that Pele had shown him throughout his career. 

Pele passed away after a battle with colon cancer at the age of 82, with numerous players both past and present joining his daughter Kely Nascimento in sending their own emotional messages after the tragic news on Thursday, December 29.

Cristiano Ronaldo (L) paid tribute to Pele after his tragic death at the age of 82 following a battle with colon cancer

‘My deep condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Edson Arantes do Nascimento,’ the five-time Ballon d’Or winner wrote on Instagram.

‘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.’

Ronaldo described the former Brazilian international as the ‘eternal king’ in his emotional tribute

Pele and Ronaldo shared an amicable relationship, with the former often sending the latter words of support throughout his career. 

Pele scored 77 times for Brazil in 92 games

Earlier in 2022, the Brazil icon told Ronaldo he was looking forward to meeting with him in a congratulatory message after the 37-year-old received a special award from FIFA for breaking the international goalscoring record.

‘I’m looking forward to meeting you in person to give you my hug,’ he said.

‘I recorded this message with great care. See you soon.’

The three-time World Cup winner notched 77 goals in 92 appearances for his country, with his record only recently being matched by current talisman Neymar at the Qatar World Cup. 

Several of the games most prominent figures – both past and present – have joined Pele’s daughter in paying tribute to the iconic football star. 

Gary Lineker has also paid tribute to a player who many feel was the greatest of all time.

Gary Lineker also took to Twitter following the death of Pele at the age of 82

‘Pele has died,’ the former England international wrote. ‘The most divine of footballers and joyous of men. 

‘He played a game only a few chosen ones have come close to. 3 times he lifted the most coveted gold trophy in that beautiful yellow shirt. He may have left us but he’ll always have footballing immortality. RIP Pele.’

Marcus Rashford simply said: ‘Rest easy king’, along with a picture of Pele with the World Cup trophy.

No details have been made public yet about the funeral, but a vigil will be held at Vila Belmiro in Santos, the city where the great will be buried.

Pele, who had been undergoing treatment for metastatic cancer, went into the Albert Einstein hospital in what was an unscheduled visit after being taken by his wife Marcia Aoki and a carer.

Medical staff at the Einstein confirmed his condition of anasarca (general swelling), an edemigemic syndrome (general edema) and even identified ‘decompensated heart failure’.

It had also been reported that his chemotherapy treatment on his cancer was no longer working, while he was diagnosed with mental confusion upon entering the hospital, where he was restless.

No details have been made available concerning the legend’s funeral arrangements but a vigil will be held in Santos

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