European football leagues pay homage to Pele prior to kickoffs

European football leagues pay homage to Pele prior to kickoffs

Before matches, minute's silence observed for Brazilian football legend, who died of colon cancer Dec. 29

By Can Erozden

ANKARA (AA) - European football leagues honored Brazilian football legend Pele, observing a minute's silence before matches.

Before Wednesday's Italian Serie A league match between Inter Milan and Napoli at Milan's Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, the crowd applauded the Brazilian legend while the players observed a minute's silence on the center circle.

On Dec. 29, a three-time FIFA World Cup winner Pele died at age 82 after losing his fight against colon cancer.

Pele was buried on Tuesday following a parade through the streets of the coastal city of Santos. A private burial was held at the Memorial Necropole Ecumenical vertical cemetery.

Earlier Wednesday, before a Turkish Spor Toto Super Lig match between Galatasaray and MKE Ankaragucu, fans in Istanbul observed a minute's silence to commemorate Pele.

Galatasaray won the match 2-1 to top the league table before Sunday's derby against title contenders Fenerbahce.

The English Premier League paid tribute to Pele during the match week 18 on Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 by holding a minute’s applause before the kickoffs.

Players and match officials in the Premier League have worn black armbands.

Separately, the English FA lit up the Wembley Stadium's arch in colors of Brazil to pay tribute to Pele after the announcement of his death.

In previous days, the French and Spanish football leagues also held minute's silence each in memory of Pele.

Pele was the all-time leading scorer in the history of sports with 1,283 goals in 1,363 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977.

Also nicknamed "O Rei," or "The King," he is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Pele won six Brazilian Serie A titles, two Copa Libertadores titles, and the Intercontinental Cup for Santos.

He led Brazil to a record three World Cup titles in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

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