Pele dies: Thiago Silva, Casemiro among Brazil stars to laud 'king of football'

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Thiago Silva labelled Pele as "forever the king of football" as tributes flooded in from Brazil players after the Selecao great's death on Thursday.

The three-time World Cup winner suffered multiple organ failure after being moved to palliative care in Sao Paulo earlier in December when his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

Sao Paolo's Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital confirmed the cause of the 82-year-old's death before tributes poured in from players, clubs and sporting organisations.

Pele helped Brazil to World Cup success in 1958, 1962 and 1970, with no player in the tournament's history winning more, and the likes of Silva and Casemiro joined in sharing their memories of the former forward.

"Forever the king of football, the Legend!," Chelsea centre-back Silva posted on Twitter alongside a crown emoji. "Rest in peace, Pele. You have changed the history of football.

"Your legacy will always be in our hearts. Thanks for everything!"

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro, who played alongside Silva as Brazil fell to World Cup quarter-final elimination in Qatar, echoed a similar sentiment.

"Rest in peace, king Pele. Thank you for the glory you gave to Brazil and football. Your legacy is eternal," he wrote on social media.

Casemiro's United team-mate Antony labelled Pele as an "example", posting: "The biggest of all! The king, the inspiration, the example, the only one, the ETERNAL!!"

Pele's 77-goal international haul remains a benchmark among Brazilian players, though Neymar matched that record with his World Cup quarter-final strike against Croatia in Qatar.

That scoring form from the former Santos forward inspired numerous current Brazil stars, with young Real Madrid forward Rodrygo recalling the tales told of Pele.

He wrote on Twitter: "What a sadness! 12/29 from today will always become a sad date. We grew up in Santos hearing people talk about you every day, how good you were at playing and as a person.

"Thank God I had the opportunity to meet you in person…"

Richarlison, who excelled as the central striker for Brazil on the global stage in Qatar, added: "Today, football says goodbye to its most beautiful chapter.

"From the guy who dedicated his thousandth goal to children, stopped wars and showed an entire country that he could do more. You are and always will be matchless and eternal, King.

"Thank you and may God welcome you with open arms."