Lewis Hamilton reacts to Pelé’s death

Lewis Hamilton was given an honorary Brazilian citizenship earlier this year after holding a long-term affinity for the country and its people.

The footballing world was shocked on Thursday as it was announced the possibly the greatest football player to ever live, Pelé, had passed away.

The 82-year-old had been in intensive care in a Sao Paulo hospital for some time, suffering with colon cancer which had put the Brazilian in critical condition on multiple occasions.

Pelé lived long enough to watch Brazil’s most recent World Cup journey in Qatar, where the nation were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Croatia on penalties.

The Brazilian legend is reportedly the top goal scorer of all time and won three World Cups during his playing days, making him an icon for every generation of Brazilian people who have heard about the legend of Pelé.

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Lewis Hamilton, who was given honorary Brazilian citizenship earlier this year, has now paid tribute to the late footballing legend on his social media, sharing a post which mourned the loss of Pelé, along with a personal anecdote.

“Lost a legend today,” wrote the 37-year-old.

“Thank you for sharing your talent, genius and love with us. Pelé’s legacy will inspire us forever and always.”

Brazil has always held a special place in Hamilton’s heart, with the Brit growing up idolising Ayrton Senna and even winning his first world championship in Sao Paulo.

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Hamilton’s post features a photo of a signed shirt from the Brazilian icon, which was gifted to the seven-time world champion in 2021 after he displayed a Brazilian flag during the podium ceremony after winning the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix.

“A wonderful performance. A day as glorious for you, Lewis, as for us Brazilians. It’s great to see an F1 driver raise our flag on the podium. Thank you for being who you are,” wrote Pelé on social media following Hamilton’s jaw-dropping last to first victory.

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Pelé was a big motorsport fan himself, often attending the Brazilian Grand Prix and taking part in some of the ceremonies that take part over the course of the race weekend.

His appearance at the 2006 Grand Prix prompted a hilarious moment from Kimi Raikkonen, who told trackside reporters that he missed a speech by Pelé because he ‘was having a sh*t’.

The thoughts and prayers of everybody involved in Formula 1 go out to the family and friends of the late Pelé, who captured the hearts of sports fans all over the globe during his playing days.