Admin l Friday, December 30, 2022
BERLIN – The German Football Federation (DFB) has named Pelé “an icon for generations” as it paid tribute to the Brazilian great who died on Thursday at age 82.
DFB president Bernd Neuendorf said in a statement on Friday that the news of Pelé’s death in a Sao Paulo hospital fills the DFB “with great sadness.
“Football has lost one of its greatest. Pelé’s importance extended far beyond the pitch. He was an icon for generations,” Neuendorf said.
“He was the only player to win the World Cup three times. He moved and fascinated people all over the world, even those who had no interest in football.
“Pelé made football look admirably easy with his elegance, finesse, speed and technique. He left a lasting mark on an entire sport and will always remain one of the greatest ambassadors of his sport and his home country.
“His name has become synonymous with the beauty and magic of football. For everything that makes this sport so attractive and inspiring.”
German national team coach Hansi Flick said in the statement that “there has never been a better player than Pelé” who won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
“For me he was and is the king of football,” Flick said.
“His game was close to perfection, he was complete, had no weaknesses … Pelé could do everything. He was not only a goal scorer, he also shone with his eye for his teammates, his assists and passes were just as worth seeing as his goals.
“Football was his best friend, and presumably the same applies vice versa. Pelé leaves a void that can never be filled,” Flick said.
Pelé died after battling colon cancer for over a year and being in hospital since November. His former club Santos has said the funeral will be held on Tuesday in his home city of Santos among close relatives.