Soccer legend Pelé on Friday paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II by recalling fond memories of her visit to Brazil in 1968.
Pelé said she made a lasting impression when she came to see Brazil’s love for the sport known in both nations as football. Her deeds and legacy, he said, “will last forever.”
As the only player to win three World Cups, Pelé, 81, has been described as the “player of the century,” and “the greatest” to play the sport.
On Friday, he described Elizabeth’s visit as the scene of a lifetime.
“I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968,” he tweeted, “when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracanã.”
Brazilian media accounts state the queen presented the winners’ trophy to Pelé after São Paulo beat Rio de Janeiro 3-2 at the venue, said to have hosted 85,000.
Pelé included photos of the event, the queen smiling, and the greatest holding that trophy. He was reportedly introduced to her as “the world-famous player Pelé.”
“Oh, I know,” the queen is quoted as saying. “I already know him by name. And I feel very happy to greet him.”