Putin sends a message to Brazil after the death of Pelé – RT Sport News
The Russian leader noted that he was lucky enough to meet the footballing icon in person
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the « unique » talent of Pelé as he shared a message of condolence with the people of Brazil following the passing of the soccer icon.
Pelé died aged 82 in Sao Paulo on Thursday after a battle with colon cancer.
The passing of the three-time World Cup winner has sent an outpouring of grief in Brazil and far beyond.
Putin joined in expressing his sadness on behalf of the Russian people in a message to his outgoing Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro and shared on the Kremlin’s website.
“Please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of the great Brazilian footballer Pelé,” read the message to Bolsonaro, who will be replaced on Sunday in the presidency by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
“Edson Arantes do Nascimento was an exceptional son of the Brazilian people. Thanks to his talent, unique skill, [and] a magnificent and fascinating game, football has become the favorite sport of millions of people around the world, including in Russia,” Putin added.
“I had the chance to communicate personally with this wonderful person, and I will forever have the best memories of him.
“Please convey words of sincere sympathy to the family and friends of the legendary Pelé, as well as to all the citizens of your country.”
Putin and Pele were seen meeting at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, sharing a warm handshake in the stands during a match in Saint Petersburg.
The pair were also pictured meeting at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia draw, which took place at the Kremlin in December 2017.
On that occasion, they were joined by Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, who died aged 60 in 2020.
Pelé: From Humble Beginnings to World’s First Football Superstar
Brazil has declared three days of mourning after Pelé’s death. Fans will have the opportunity to pay their respects when his coffin is placed in the center of the pitch at Brazilian team Santos’ stadium – where he has spent most of his career – on Monday and Tuesday.
After that, Pelé’s coffin will be carried through the streets before being laid to rest in a private ceremony at the Memorial Necropolis Ecumenica in Santos.