Brazil attacker Vinícius Júnior has dedicated his team’s 4-1 last 16 win over South Korea to Brazilian great Pelé, who remains seriously ill. The 22-year-old said:
“I’m sending a big hug to Pelé, who needs a lot of strength from us right now. This victory goes to him, I hope that everything goes well and that he can get out of this situation, and we can be champions for him.” The Brazil squad also displayed a banner at full time after the win over Korea carrying Pelé’s image in support of their former forward who won three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
It was rumoured the now 82-year-old had been receiving ‘end-of-life’ treatment at a hospital in São Paulo but his family later denied this and Pelé was able to watch the game with Korea. Pelé is being treated for cancer and recently contracted COVID-19 as well as a lung infection which saw him hospitalised but he is now reportedly responding to treatment.