Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, former Nigerian internationals and current have paid glowing tributes to the late Brazil football icon Pele who died at Sao Paolo’s Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital on Thursday, December 29, at age 82 after battling with colon cancer.
Pele, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history, spent the final month of his life in hospital.
Pele scored 1,282 goals in 1,366 games in his football career, which included 77 in 92 appearances for his country.
Peseiro alongside ex-internationals Mutiu Adepoju, Austin Eguavoen, Kanu Nwankwo, Kanu Nwankwo and Super Eagles vice-captain William Troost-Ekong took to Twitter to pour encomiums on the football legend.
The 62-year-old Portuguese tactician expressed shock at the news of Pele’s death, noting that the legendary Brazil icon was more than a football player.
“The world lost a sporting legend. Pélé was more than a football player, he was a global idol. Rest in peace, King Péle, “ Peseiro tweeted on his official Twitter handle @JosePeseiro.
Sunday Oliseh, a member of the FIFA Technical Study Group at the recent 2022 World Cup in Qatar, wrote, “The King Of Football Pelé peacefully passed on but his legacy lives on and will never be forgotten nor equaled.
“Thank you, sir, for being my hero and inspirator, plus the joy you gave to billions worldwide. R.I.P King Pelé.”
Former Nigerian midfielder, Adepoju acknowledged Pele as the greatest player ever with his record goals and tactical prowess during his playing days.
“Pele – goals, skills, speed, ball control, tactical genius, charisma, trophies, legacies. No dispute, he really was the greatest,” Adepoju wrote in a tweet.
Also, Nigerian Football Federation Technical Director, Eguavoen also expressed sadness not to have played against Pele, while noting that his legacy lives on. “I played against so many great players including Diego Maradona, but the top of them all would have been Pélé,” Eguavoen said.
“His legacy would definitely live on.
Nwankwo also joined the list of ex-internationals who paid tributes to the Brazil football legend.
“Pele #thegreatest R I P,” @papilokanu tweeted
Former African Footballer of the Year also eulogises the 82-year-old football great.
“Rest in peace Pele,” Ikpeba said.
Eagles centre-back TroostEkongg in a short but emotional message said: “ RIP “ @WTroostEkong
Pele, who scored 643 goals in 659 matches for Santos over 18 years, helped Brazil to World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970 before establishing himself as the greatest of all time.
He remains the youngest player to ever win the World Cup and the youngest to score in the final after achieving the remarkable feat when he was just 17 years and 249 days old.
A host of the biggest names in football, sport and beyond have paid tribute to one of the most famous, most successful and greatest sportsmen of all time.
Nigerian football agent and owner of 36 Lions, Hajji Gaffar also added, “The Rightful Owner of Jersey No. 10 is gone. He would have won Champions League 10 times if there was one. He would have won Ballon d’Or 10 times if there was one. The man who dominated attacking football when defenders use to have machetes in their socks is the Greatest Of All Time. Adieu King Pele.”
Source: The Punch