Pele 'made No 10 something special': Premier League managers pay tribute to Brazil legend

The three-time World Cup winner died on Thursday at the age of 82

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Pep Guardiola said Pele's impact on football "will always remain" as Premier League managers paid tribute to the Brazilian great during Friday's pre-match press conferences.

Pele died on Thursday at the age of 82 following a lengthy battle with cancer. Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, the Brazilian is the only player to win the World Cup three times and scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977.

HIs death has led to an outpouring of tributes around the world, with footballers past and present, athletes from other sports, politicians, and millions more paying their respects on social media.

Meanwhile, several global landmarks including the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and Wembley Stadium's arch have been lit up in gold and green in memory of Pele.

And ahead of this weekend's Premier League matches, managers were asked on Friday to share their thoughts about Pele.

"On behalf of Manchester City, the biggest condolences to his family and friends," Manchester City manager Guardiola said ahead of their match against Everton on Saturday. "I think Neymar said it, before him No 10 was just a number and after it became something special. What he has done for football is there and always will remain."

Speaking on the eve of the match against Leeds United, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said: "In my era, you grew up knowing of Pele and thinking of him as the best player the world has ever seen. It's very sad, whenever an icon passes away it's a very sad moment for football. He's certainly well remembered around the world."

Everton manager Frank Lampard, whose distinguished playing career saw him become Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer, shared Howe's sentiments.

"My memories of him are on video footage as a young boy. It was always a matter of fact that Pele and [Diego] Maradona were the greatest," Lampard said. "All the responses since yesterday have shown he was a great man and player. It's a sad day for football."

The Premier League confirmed that this weekend's matches will feature tributes to Pele, with a one-minute silence observed before kick-off and black armbands to be worn by players and officials.

Pele's funeral will be held at Santos' Vila Belmiro Stadium on Monday and Tuesday, when fans will be able to pay their final respects.

Updated: December 30, 2022, 6:13 PM