Portugal superstar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo paid tribute to Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, who died on Thursday night at the age of 82.

Pelé is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers to ever play the game, regularly mentioned alongside Diego Maradona and, more recently, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He remains the only player to win three World Cup titles after his successes with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

Reacting to the death on his verified social media handles, Ronaldo said: “My 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 is embracing the entire world of football at this time.

“An inspiration for so many millions, a reference yesterday, today and forever.”

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner added that the love that Pelé showed him will be reciprocated at all times despite his death.

“The love that you always showed me was reciprocated in every moment that we shared even at a distance. He will never be forgotten and his memory will live forever in each and every football lover.

“Rest in peace King Pele,” he wrote.

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