Argentina and Brazil might be rivals, but Lionel Messi knows just how much Pele meant to football. The superstar reacted to the death of one of the greatest to ever do it, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 82 after a lengthy battle with cancer.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

“Rest in peace, Pele,” Messi wrote on Instagram.

Pele was so much more than a great footballer. He shared his wealth with the people of Brazil through tons of charity work. A true hero. The legend had a cancerous tumor removed from his colon in the September of 2021, but the cancer sadly came back and in recent months, his body just hasn't been able to fight the disease. Pele's family spent Christmas with him and ultimately said their goodbyes with the assumption he was on his last legs. Such a heartbreak.

He's still the youngster scorer in World Cup history and won the tournament three different times with Selecao in 1958, 1962, and 1970, playing a key part each and every time. Neymar just matched Pele's record of 77 goals for Brazil in Qatar and even paid his respects during the competition as Pele watched from afar.

As for Messi, he knows something about capturing the biggest trophy in international football after leading Argentina to the World Cup title earlier this month, beating France in an excitement-filled final.

Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo also paid their respects to Pele after the devastating news. Rest in heavenly peace. Have a kick up there with Diego Maradona.