Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | Xinhua | Brazil legend Pele has been named an honorary member of Vasco da Gama, despite having never played for the club.
The 80-year-old received two Vasco shirts – one with his famous No. 10 and the other with the No. 80 – and a plaque certifying the decision, sources said on Wednesday.
Pele represented only two clubs throughout his professional career – Santos and New York Cosmos – but he has never hidden his affection for Vasco da Gama.
In an interview with the Brazilian YouTube channel Pilhado last year, the former forward revealed that he had supported the Rio de Janeiro side as a child.
“Most of my friends and my father’s friends were Corinthians fans,” he said. “I don’t know why I started to follow Vasco, but I am a Vasco fan. I played for Santos, but I have the right to choose [my favorite team]. I never stopped supporting Vasco.”
The only man to win three FIFA World Cups, Pele is regarded as one of the greatest ever footballers. In 2000, he shared the award for FIFA’s best player of the 20th century with Argentine great Diego Maradona, who died last November aged 60.