Pele: From Maracana to Wembley arch — global landmarks honour football great

Tributes are being paid around the world following the death of the three-time World Cup winner

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Several global landmarks around the world have been paying tribute to Pele after the Brazilian football great died on Thursday at the age of 82.

The Christ the Redeemer statue in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro was lit up in the yellow and gold of the national flag, while the Maracana football stadium — which hosted the 1950 and 2014 World Cup finals — was illuminated in golden lights.

Over in London, England, Wembley Stadium's arch also lit up with Brazilian colours and displayed the famous photo of Pele and Bobby Moore swapping shirts after the 1970 World Cup game between Brazil and England.

On New York's Times Square, an electric board ran the news of Pele's death while street artists designed drawings of the three-time World Cup winner, and in Luque, Paraguay, the headquarters of the South American Football Federation (Conmebol) projected images of Pele on the side of the building.

Pele, considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, died on Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The former striker, who played for Santos and New York Cosmos, won three World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977.

There has been an outpouring of tributes from around the world paying respects to Pele since his death, with Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar stating that his countryman had “transformed football into an art”.

“Before Pele, '10' was just a number,” the heir to Pele's famed jersey number wrote on Instagram, alongside two pictures of himself with the late football great.

“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!”

It was announced that Pele's funeral will take place at Santos' Vila Belmiro Stadium on Monday and Tuesday, where fans will be able to pay their final respects.

Updated: December 30, 2022, 8:23 AM
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