‘I want to send a huge hug to Pele’

The atmosphere at Stadium 974 in Doha was carnival-like and among the percussion instruments, fancy dresses and painted faces stood out this special greeting to a special person.

Brazil’s fans and players unfurled banners to show their support for the ailing football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Or as the planet has known him for 64 years, Pele.

Brazil thumped South Korea 4-1 to enter the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarter-final but not before a show of support for the footballing icon.

‘I want to send a huge hug to Pele. This victory is for him. I hope that everything goes well, that he can get out of this situation and we can be champions for him,’ Vinicius Jr said after Brazil’s win.

Pele, 82, said in an Instagram post before the game that he wished to inspire Brazil’s players by sharing a picture taken at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, when the then teenager shocked the world by leading Brazil to its first title.

‘I’ll watch the game from here at the hospital and I’ll be rooting for each one of you,’ Pele said.

;We are on this journey together. Good luck to our Brazil!’



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