Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or Pelé, as he was known all over the world, died this past December 29th. His death rattled the world of professional soccer, reminding fans and athletes that he was one of the sport’s largest icons, a figure that paved the way for younger players and changed the face of the sport.
Before his passing, Pelé shared a special wish that involved Lionel Messi. While he couldn’t deliver the message himself, one of his daughters, Kely Nascimento, shared the message to Messi’s wife, Antonela Roccuzzo.
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On February 27th, Messi and Roccuzzo attended the awards show The Best, which are hosted annually by FIFA and reward the soccer elite. The event was celebrated in Paris, where Pele’s daughters, Kely and Flavia, were in attendance in order to represent their father and accept an homage in his name.
The Nascimento sisters shared plenty of photos over their time in the gala, including photos with Ronaldo and various soccer stars. A few days later, Kely shared a message on Instagram, revealing a conversation she had with Roccuzzo. She wrote the message on Portuguese.
Kely shared a photo alongside Roccuzzo and captioned it,“This is the beautiful and funny Antonela Roccuzzo, Messi’s wife. I didn’t have the chance to meet Messi so when I met her in that magical place in every party (the women’s bathroom), I sent him a message through her. When Brasil lost against Croatia, my dad’s health was getting worse,” she wrote, reminiscing about the game played on December 9th over this past World Cup. “Everyone wanted Brasil to win this cup for my father. No one wanted this more than the team!”
“But my dad understood soccer better than anyone. And it was that possibility of any team having the chance to win the game that he always loved,” she wrote. “After Brasil lost the match, everyone that came into my dad’s hospital room (all day and every day until the end) used to say “Now what, Pelé? Who do you support now? Of course not Argentina!”
Argentina and Brasil have one of soccer’s greatest and longest rivalries, with both teams representing some of the best of South American sports. “Yes, Argentina!” recalled Kely. “This cup needs to stay in South America and Messi deserves it.”
“(My dad) couldn’t watch the final match on TV, but he understood that Argentina and Messi won the cup. And he was happy. Long live soccer,” she concluded her post.
While it’s unknown of Messi knew of her message, he shared a tribute for Pelé shortly after his death. Messi shared a post on Instagram containing various images of the soccer icon, including a photo of the two of them together. “Rest in peace, Pelé,” he captioned it.