• Pelé was in Nigeria in 1969 when he led Santos from Brazil to play friendlies with the Green Eagles.
  • The ‘best footballer of all time’ returned to the country in 1972 and played at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium
  • Two local teams in Kaduna took part in an exhibition match to honor the late football icon

Two soccer teams based in Kaduna State, Nigeria have paid tribute to the late soccer icon Pelé, who passed away on December 29, 2022.

Known as the greatest footballer of all time, Pelé is said to have died after a protracted battle with colon cancer.

A former Kaduna Central senator, Shehu Sani, shared a photo on Twitter of how two teams paid in honor of the former Santos superstar.

Pelé honored by two teams in Kaduna, Nigeria. Photo: @ShehuSani
Source: Twitter

Pelé took the Brazilian club to Nigeria in 1969 and also returned to the country in 1972 where he played under the famous Ahmadu Bello in Kaduna.

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Shehu Sani revealed that the match was played as a tribute to Pelé, who once graced the stadium.

He wrote below:

“Pele was at the Ahmadu Bello Kaduna Stadium in 1972; Two Kaduna football clubs played a match at the same venue today, as a tribute to the greatest original of all time.”

How Pele Caused a Ceasefire in Nigeria’s Civil War

Meanwhile, the legend once visited Nigeria in 1969 during the country’s civil war, and reports say there was a 48-hour ceasefire to allow the Green Eagles to take on Santos.

Santos then traveled to Benin, where they played another exhibition match against the Eagles, and the grandeur of the match was so great that the then military governor of the state, Samuel Ogbemudia, declared a public holiday.

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Pelé: the president of FIFA wants each country to name a stadium after king

He ordered the opening of the bridge connecting Benin to Biafra and more than 25,000 fans poured into the stadium to watch Pelé lead the visitors to a 2-1 victory.

Infantino calls attention to countries for Pelé

sports summary previously reported that FIFA President Gianni Infantino has called on countries around the world to each name a stadium after Pelé after the late Brazilian icon.

Since the death of the man once described as a “non-exportable national treasure”, a host of tributes have poured in from world leaders, sports personalities and fans alike.

Infantino made the request while speaking to television reporters at the Santos Football Club home in Brazil, where a tribute to Pele began on Monday.

Source: SportsBrief.com