Former Zambian football captain pays tribute to legend Pele

Former Zambian International football player, Kalusha Bwalya has reflected on the life of Pele as the entire world continues to mourn the death of the great Brazilian player. The post Former Zambian football captain pays tribute to legend Pele appeared first on SABC News - Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

Former Zambian football captain pays tribute to legend Pele

Former Zambian international football player, Kalusha Bwalya has reflected on the life of Pele as the entire world continues to mourn the death of the great Brazilian player.

Bwalya, who was African footballer of the year in 1988, says Pele was influential in spreading the love of football across the globe.

“Around the World Cup 1970 we heard the name of Pele that Brazil was playing this brand of football that we Africans like to emulate, so it was exemplary. The way football is played today is thanks to people like Pele, who have been able to demonstrate to the world and to us young people growing up in Africa. All our friends, all our countries want to play the Brazilian way and because we feel we have that flair, so he was a great influence.”

Mourners line at to see casket

The Brazilian coastal city of Santos, which sporting giant Pele turned into a byword for soccer brilliance during a glittering club career, started bidding goodbye to its hero on Monday with a 24-hour wake.

Mourners lined up to see Pele’s body in an open casket in the center of the field at the Vila Belmiro stadium, home of the Santos Football Club. Pele died on Thursday at 82 after battling colon cancer.

“Pele leaves millions of Santos fans across our country. He was the creator of Brazilian soccer,” said Antonio da Paz, a fan outside the stadium for the memorial that began at 10am.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was among the first to arrive for the service and said he would ask every country to name a stadium after Pele, the only man to win the World Cup three times as a player.

“Pele is eternal,” Infantino told reporters.

“FIFA will certainly honor the ‘king’ as he deserves. We have asked all football associations in the world to pay a minute of silence before every game and will also ask them, 211 countries, to name a stadium after Pele. Future generations must know and remember who Pele was.”

The post Former Zambian football captain pays tribute to legend Pele appeared first on SABC News - Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..