Brazil stars pay touching Pele tribute after thrashing South Korea in World Cup

Neymar Jr, Vinicius Junior, Lucas Paqueta and Raphinha of Brazil celebrate a Vinicius Junior's goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Brazil and South Korea at Stadium 974 on December 5, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. 

Brazil sent a heart-warming message to legendary forward Pele after they booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals against South Korea.

Tite’s side eased past their Asian opponents at Stadium 974 on Tuesday evening to progress to the next round. Vinicius Jr opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the game, with Neymar, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta all getting on the scoresheet before half-time.

Paik Seung-ho did manage to get on the scoresheet for South Korea in what was an otherwise miserable evening. Brazil on the other hand toasted their scintillating performance with dances in the aftermath of all of their goals, whilst they saluted their success at the final whistle.

They also saved some time for a special tribute for Brazil icon Pele. The 82-year-old was hospitalised earlier this week after he stopped responding to treatment for bowel cancer.

Following victory over South Korea, a banner featuring an iconic image of the former forward – as well as his name – was unfurled. The players then gathered for photos in what will likely be a special moment for the three-time World Cup winner.

Taking to Twitter ahead of the game, the former Santos striker said he would be watching the game from his hospital bed. He wrote: “In 1958, I walked the streets thinking about fulfilling the promise I made to my father.

“I know that today many have made similar promises and are also going in search of their first World Cup. I will watch the game from the hospital and I will be rooting for each one of you. Good luck!”

The tribute from the squad was not the only show of support for Pele during the game. A number of banners were displayed by fans mid-match.

An update on the Brazilian’s condition will be expected within the coming days but in the meantime, he will no doubt continue offering his support to the Selecao.

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