Pele dies: Mbappe leads tributes to ´king of football´

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Kylian Mbappe has led tributes to Pele from a plethora of football stars past and present following his death on Thursday, with the France forward saluting the late Brazil forward and a legacy that “will never be forgotten”.

The three-time World Cup winner passed away aged 82 following a battle with colon cancer, sending the football and wider sporting world into mourning.

Pele, a 77-goal Selecao star who remains one of the game’s all-time greats, was the only teenager to score in a World Cup final until Mbappe did so at Russia 2018 four years ago.

Now, the 23-year-old has paid his respects to the ‘king of football’, highlighting his achievements as having helped to define the sport.

“The king of football has left us, but his legacy will never be forgotten,” Mbappe wrote on Twitter.

Mbappe’s PSG team-mate and Spain international Sergio Ramos also offered his tribute, adding: “To say he was a legend is an understatement. Football will always remember you.”

Barcelona and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski said “heaven has a new star” in his post reflecting upon Pele’s legacy, a sentiment shared by former Germany international Mesut Ozil.

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland argued that “everything you see any player [do], Pele did it first”, while Wales forward Gareth Bale suggested the Brazilian was “the reason so many of us love football”.

Former England international and 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker called him “the most divine of footballers and joyous of men”, adding that Pele has secured “footballing immortality”.

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