Pele’s Tribute To Maradona: ‘I Hope We’ll Play Together In Heaven
Football great, Pele Wednesday paid a heartfelt tribute to departed friend and world football legend, Diego Armando Maradona declaring that he wished to play football again with him in heaven
The Brazilian football great mourned his fellow legend Diego Maradona after the Argentine died Wednesday due to cardiac arrest. He was aged 60.
Both men are considered two of the greatest soccer players in history and come from similarly humble backgrounds.
“Sad news today. I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend,” Pele wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of Maradona hoisting the World Cup trophy in 1986.
“There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength. One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.”
Pele and Maradona, who often vie for the title of best footballer in history, had just celebrated milestone birthdays last month: 80 and 60, respectively.
Pele had wished Maradona well on his birthday on October 30, writing, “May your journey be long and may you always smile, and make me smile, too!”
Maradona had likewise congratulated Pele on his 80th a week before, joining in what he called “the universal tribute to the King.”
The Brazilian and Argentine were jointly named best player of the 20th century by FIFA in 2000.
While Maradona — at the age of 25 — was key to Argentina’s World Cup triumph in 1986, Pele burst onto the scene as a teenager, helping lead his native Brazil to tournament success in the 1958 event.
Pele went on to star on two other World Cup title teams as well, in 1962 and 1970, in addition to a breakthrough career with the Brazilian club Santos and later with the New York Cosmos of the now-defunct North American Soccer League.
In 2000, Pele and Maradona were named co-Players of the Century by FIFA, the international soccer governing body.
The Brazilian legend was among a number of high-profile names to pay tribute to Maradona on social media after the news was confirmed.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez has announced three days of national mourning following Maradona’s death, while UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said a minute’s silence would be observed ahead of all European matches this week.