The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), said on Thursday that the world will not forget the legacy and contributions of Brazilian soccer legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, who has died at the age of 82.

“Pele is gone but the world will never forget him. RIP,” read a statement signed by the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, titled “President Buhari mourns football legend Pele, says he will never be forgotten.”

Pelé, 82, died among close friends and family after suffering a debilitating bout of cancer.

He won three World Cups and scored more than 1,281 goals, becoming soccer’s original icon in a long career for which he was named “Player of the Century” in 2000.

In a tribute to the football legend on behalf of all Nigerians, Buhari said: “May he rest in peace. He led a good life and made a great contribution to the development of world football in particular and world sport in general.

“He had enormous generosity of spirit and humility despite his greatness as a footballer and athlete.

“He also built bridges between nations, races and even religions. He was a goodwill ambassador for the UN. He was gone but the world will never forget him. RIP”

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