Neymar & Ronaldo post emotional tributes to Pele

Jamie Spencer
Neymar wears the same Brazil number 10 shirt Pele first made famous in 1958
Neymar wears the same Brazil number 10 shirt Pele first made famous in 1958 / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

The world of football is in mourning over Pele, who has died aged 82.

The three-time World Cup winner is a sporting icon all over the planet, but no more so than in his native Brazil where he inspired generations upon generations of footballers.

Neymar and Ronaldo were just two of those to have followed in his footsteps over the decades.

Neymar scored his 77th international goal during the recent World Cup to equal Pele’s all-time Selecao record. Ronaldo, meanwhile, was perhaps the biggest superstar Brazil had produced since the great man himself when he burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s.

64 years after the 1958 World Cup, when Pele catapulted himself into football history with six goals in the number 10 shirt, Neymar wears the same jersey for Brazil.

“Before Pele, 10 was just a number,” the Paris Saint-Germain player said.

“I’ve read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful, is incomplete. I would say before Pele football was just a sport. Pele has changed it all.

“He turned football into art, into entertainment He gave voice to the poor, to the blacks and especially: He gave visibility to Brazil.

“Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He's gone but his magic remains.

“Pele is FOREVER!!”

Ronaldo, who scored 62 goals for Brazil and won the World Cup in 1994 and 2002, highlighted how Pele stood the test of time like no other.

“Unique. Cool. Technical. Creative. Perfect. One of a kind,” the retired striker began.

“Where Pele arrived, he stayed. Without ever leaving the top, he leaves us today. The king of football - only one. The greatest of all time.

“The world of mourning. The sadness of parting mixed with the immense pride of the written history. What a privilege to come after you my friend. Your talent is a school every player should go through. Your legacy will transcend generations. And that's how it will stay alive.

“Today and always, we celebrate you. Thank you, Pelé. Rest in peace.”