During a visit to the Pelé Museum in the Brazilian coastal city of Santos, Sergio Murillo Jr. said he was saddened to see the football legend’s health deteriorate, stressing that “I am proud of the legacy he has left us”.
For the 53-year-old lawyer, Pelé is, above all, “an example of perseverance and resistance for all generations”.
The Santos Museum is filled with memorabilia of the man they called “The King”: the shirts and jerseys he wore, balls from important matches and countless awards, including the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2014.
Pelé, 82, is fighting cancer and kidney and heart problems in a hospital in São Paulo.
Flores Araujo Hermes, an 82-year-old Peruvian tourist, told AFP he remembers watching the Brazilian legend play in Lima like it was yesterday.
And in a similar style to the commentators, remember “Chest, shot and goal! Impressive!”.
“He was the best. People compare him to others, but no one has surpassed him yet,” added Hermes.
Although Pelé is widely recognized as the only player in history to lead his country to three World Cup victories (1958, 1962 and 1970), he also achieved impressive success with Santos, including the Intercontinental Cup in 1962 and 1963.
Pelé was born in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais and spent most of his football career with Santos before playing for American team New York Cosmos in the late 1970s.
This season’s Santos shirts feature a golden crown above the club crest, in homage to Pelé’s timeless number 10 shirt.
“Pelé will always be our king, the great king of football,” said Murillo Jr.
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