‘Pele transformed football into art’: Neymar leads tributes to Brazil legend

LONDON: Neymar led football’s emotional tributes to Pele after the Brazil legend’s death on Thursday as the Paris Saint Germain star said his iconic compatriot had transformed the sport “into an art”.
Pele passed away aged 82 after suffering “multiple organ failure” following a long battle with cancer and football’s current and former stars were quick to salute arguably the sport’s greatest ever player.
Nicknamed “O Rei” (The King), Pele scored more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.
Brazil forward Neymar hailed Pele, the only man to win three World Cups, in a social media post alongside two pictures of himself with the legend.
“Before Pele, ’10’ was just a number,” the heir to Pele’s famed shirt number wrote on Instagram.
“But that beautiful sentence is incomplete. I would say that before Pele, football was just a sport.
“He transformed football into an art, into entertainment… Football and Brazil gained status thanks to the King. He has gone, but his magic will remain. Pele is ETERNAL!”

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