Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers pay tribute to Pele


Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers have joined the cast of those involved in football to pay tribute to Pele – who has died at the age of 82.

Widely regarded as one of the best players to ever play the game, the Brazilian – who won three World Cups – passed away after a battle with cancer.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Klopp referenced his father in his tribute to Pele – saying that he was his favourite player and his influence was passed down to him.

‘My dad always said whatever happens in the future, Pele was the best,’ he said.

‘That’s in my mind (my father and what he told me). I met him once around the World Cup in 2006. I have a signed shirt which he gave to me for my birthday.

‘So yes, it feels tough to be honest. I believe in God, and I believe whichever team is playing they will have one OK player at least and everything will be fine. May he rest in peace.’

Meanwhile, Rodgers echoed his successor’s sentiments, saying his father too viewed Pele as the best.

‘Well, I think you’ve seen the outpouring of feelings from everyone in the aftermath of his death.

‘He always reminds me of my father. So when I see him I think of my dad, who is no longer with us. The outpouring of emotion tells you everything about him as a player and a person.’

Klopp and Rodgers’ comments come after a host of other Premier League managers paid tribute to the late Brazilian.

‘Football is football thanks to these types of people, players and human beings,’ Pep Guardiola said.

‘I think Neymar said it, before the No. 10 was just a number and after it became something special – every top player wants to wear it for their team.

‘What he has done for football is there and always will remain.’

Mikel Arteta said: ‘Everything I’ve seen of him was through videos and people who knew him personally.

‘He was someone who changed the dimension of world football – he could do a bit of everything. He was probably the most complete player the game had ever seen. It’s a big loss. We’ve had two big losses with him and Maradona in the last years.’