The Bermuda Football Association (BFA) today joined the global community of millions to mourn the loss and pay tribute to the man regarded as the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ in the world of football.

Brazilian legend Pelé passed away yesterday (Dec 29), at the age of 82.

A statement released today said: “The day members of the football family hoped would continue to elude us has arrived. It is the day we say farewell to “O Rei.” Pelé has inspired generations of football players to emulate his style of play. He has been a source of motivation for those seeking to give a voice to the voiceless. Having an extensive list of accolades, Pelé has accomplished what many aspire to.

“While his fight to overcome colon cancer and other illnesses find the football family mourning the loss of his physical presence, Pelé leaves behind a legacy of love that is eternal. One that we hope the football family pauses to reflect on a bit longer today.

“Our lives were forever changed when Pelé began his football career in the early 1950s. Since then, the game for life hasn’t been the same. We, like many within the football community, are grateful to have seen the talent that was Pelé.”

BFA President Mark Wade added: “Today we have learned of the passing of Edson Arantes do Nascimento or Pelé as we all know him. While he played for Brazil, he belonged to us all.

“His wizardry, or jogo bonito, on the pitch inspired us all. Not just to play the game but to enjoy it and entertain all who watched the beautiful game. Pelé was the first true global superstar of football. The Bermuda Football Association sends its condolences to Pelé’s family, the Brazilian people, and fans of the beautiful game across the globe.”