Pele dies: Messi joins tributes as Argentina pay respects to Brazil great

By Sports Desk December 29, 2022

Lionel Messi joined the tributes to Pele after the Brazil great and three-time World Cup winner's death on Thursday.

The 82-year-old had been moved to palliative care early in December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

His family subsequently travelled to be alongside him in Sao Paolo prior to Christmas Day before the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital confirmed Pele's passing after multiple organ failure.

Sporting legends, clubs and organisations have all paid tribute to one of football's greatest players and Argentina superstar Messi shared his own post for the Santos hero.

The 2022 World Cup winner simply wrote on social media: "Rest in peace, @pele."

Pele helped Brazil to global success in 1958, 1962 and 1970, with no player in the tournament's history lifting the trophy more.

His 77-goal international haul still stands as a Brazilian record, though Neymar matched that benchmark with a World Cup quarter-final strike against Croatia in Qatar.

While Pele played a part in three World Cup triumphs, fierce rivals Argentina claimed their third crown at the most recent edition of FIFA's showcase tournament.

Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia joined the iconic Messi in paying tribute to Pele.

A statement read: "The AFA, through its president Claudio Tapia, regrets the death of the legendary Brazilian soccer player Pele, one of the best players in history, and sends warmest hugs to his loved ones and to all of Brazil."

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