David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, & More Pay Tribute To Late Soccer Legend King Pelé

Upon the news of the passing of the late soccer legend, Pelé, on Dec. 29, many celebrities took to social media to pay tribute to the icon, including former soccer player David Beckham.

Reading Time: 6 minutes
View gallery
Image Credit: Graham Chadwick/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

The legendary Brazilian soccer player, Pelé, died at the age of 82 on Dec. 29, 2022, and many notable people took to social media to mourn the iconic athlete. Pele (b. Edson Arantes do Nascimento) passed away due to extended health struggles, as confirmed by his manager Joe Fraga to the New York Times. Prior to his death, his medical team confirmed he was battling “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions.” As mentioned above, many celebrities and professional soccer players have begun to publicly mourn the legendary soccer player.

Pele was a Brazilian soccer player who died on Dec. 29, 2022. (Graham Chadwick/Daily Mail/Shutterstock)

Barack Obama

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, 61, took to Instagram on Dec. 29 to share a sweet throwback photo with Pele. “Pelé was one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game,” his caption began. “And as one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, he understood the power of sports to bring people together. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who loved and admired him.” The snapshot, also seen above, pictured Obama and Pele posing together while the late soccer star and the 61-year-old held up a yellow soccer jersey signed by the G.O.A.T. himself.

Cristiano Ronaldo

cristiano ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo took to Instagram to mourn Pele. (cristiano ronaldo IG)

Professional soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, also made sure to pay tribute to “The Greatest” on Dec. 29. “My deep condolences to all of Brazil, and in particular to the family of Edson Arantes do Nascimento. A mere ‘goodbye’ to the eternal King Pelé will never be enough to express the pain that the entire football world is currently embracing,” the Portugal national team athlete wrote. “An inspiration to so many millions, a reference yesterday, today and forever. The love you always showed me was reciprocated in every moment we shared even from distance. He will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in each and every one of us football lovers. Rest in peace King Pelé.”

Kylian Mbappé

kylian mbappé
Kylian Mbappé mourns Pele. (kylian mbappé IG)

Kylian Mbappé, 24, who plays on the French national soccer team, took to Twitter to pay his respects like his soccer colleagues the day of Pele’s passing. “The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP KING…,” he captioned the black-and-white photo of him posing with the legend. The 24-year-old also added a broken heart emoji and crown to the caption.

Lionel Messi

Leo Messi mourns Pele. (Leo Messi IG)

Lionel Messi, 35, who is one of soccer’s most talented athletes took to Instagram to grieve Pele as well. “Rest in peace, @pele,” he captioned the carousel of photos with the late icon. The second snapshot pictured Pele and Messi sharing a warm embrace, while the final snapshot pictured a throwback photo of Pele in his prime.


Neymar mourns Pele. (Neymar IG)

Brazilian soccer player, Neymar, 30, made sure to pen a lengthy caption to mourn Pele just hours after the news of his death. “Before Pelé, 10 was just a number. I’ve read this phrase somewhere, at some point in my life. But this sentence, beautiful, is incomplete,” he began. “I would say before Pelé football was just a sport. Pelé has changed it all. He turned football into art, into entertainment Gave voice to the poor, blacks and mostly: Gave visibility to Brazil. Soccer and Brazil have raised their status thanks to the King! He’s gone but his magic remains. Pelé is FOREVER!!” Neymar not only plays for the national team of Brazil, but also the Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain.

David Beckham

david beckham
David Beckham mourns Pele. (David Beckham IG)

Former English soccer player, David Beckham, 47, was another athlete that was saddened to hear of Pele’s passing. The 47-year-old took to Instagram to mourn him on Dec. 29. “It was HIS beautiful game  obrigado e adeus 🇧🇷 descansa em paz meu amigo @pele,” he captioned the two snapshots of him and Pele.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell mourns Pele. (Naomi Campbell)

Model and actress Naomi Campbell, 52, may not be an athlete, but she was still heartbroken to hear of Pele’s death. She later took to Instagram to share a series of photos of the legend along with a touching caption. “Pele, you were a symbol for us , and you let us see dreams can become a reality . You were and will always be ONE OF A KIND , .. with a heart of gold 1st ever athlete as Unesco good will ambassador , a carer of the people,” the brunette beauty began. “Brazil today we are grieving with you at the loss of YOUR HERO , OUR HERO , HERO TO THE WORLD . GREATEST OF ALL TIME !! May you rest with HIGHEST . My deepest condolences to your family and loved ones .. May you be in eternal peace.”

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone mourns Pele. (Sylvester Stallone IG)

Rocky star Sylvester Stallone, 76, is another actor, like Naomi, who was struck with grief about Pele’s passing. The 76-year-old took to Instagram to share a tribute that included two photos of himself with Pele. “PELE THE GREAT! Rest in peace! This was a good man,” Sly wrote. Pele and the Rambo actor co-starred in the 1981 film, Victory, alongside actors Michael CaineBobby Moore, and Max von Sydow. Other films that Pele starred in include: Os Trombadinhas, Pelé: Birth of a Legend, Hotshot, and more.

Will Smith

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Will Smith, 54, also joined in paying tribute to Pele on Dec. 29. The greatest to ever do it. Descanse em paz, Rei Pelé,” he captioned the black-and-white selfie with the late fútbol legend. Will is an actor who has a love for sports, as he recently portrayed Richard Williams in the 2021 sports drama King Richard.

Adriana Lima

Former Victoria’s Secret model and Brazilian bombshell Adriana Lima, 41, made sure to pay her condolences on Instagram on Dec. 29 as well. “Some men are born kings For your crib, for your titles and your family. There are others who, although born humble, become kings through their art, their talent, their genius. First the world bows down to protocol and obligation. But to the geniuses who turn themselves into kings, the world bows in admiration and love,” her lengthy caption began. “Today one of the greatest Brazilians of all time leaves us. King Pelé ends his reign with unwritten glories and achievements, some of them unbelievable. The world mourns the Athlete of the Century, the greatest player of all time.”

The beauty continued, “We respectfully bid farewell to King Pelé with an immense sadness in our chest. But fully aware of the immense joy he has brought us, and will continue to bring us, whenever we remember him. May the King be received in the Kingdom of Heaven by the angels of the Lord, who, I am sure, will be delighted with the presence of our genius by their side. Thank you, Pelé. You are immortal.”