FORMER Brazil star Rivaldo has revealed why he snubbed the opportunity to attend Pele’s funeral.
The retired midfielder was one of many Brazilian footballers not to attend the legend’s funeral after Pele passed away at the age of 82.
Pele’s funeral was attended by more than 230,000 people in Santos, BrazilCredit: AFP
However some former and current Brazil stars such as Rivaldo did not attendCredit: Getty
Cafu regretted not being able to make it to the funeralCredit: Getty
It is believed that more than 230,000 people attended a ceremony in Santos, Brazil, to honour the death of the three-time World Cup winner.
However, Rivaldo was not one of them as he explained his absence, he said: “Even if I were in Brazil, I’m not sure if I would go to the wake even though I know that Pele was the best of all time.
“I don’t like paying homage at this time, I’m not against anyone who wants to do it.
“I met Pele, I had several conversations with him and I had the opportunity to honour him in life.
“I showed my affection and admiration for him at every moment and he always thanked me for it.
“No one will change the respect and admiration I had and continue to have for him despite not going to the wake.
“The best tribute is in life, and this I did, and I have a very clear conscience.”
Current national team star Neymar and former icons such as Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Kaka and Ronaldinho also missed the ceremony and have come under criticism.
Another person who missed the funeral was the 2002 World Cup-winning captain Cafu.
He regretted not being able to attend but insisted that it does not affect his feelings towards Pele.
Cafu said: “Life is made of true moments and those I had with the King, in life. Unfortunately, and with all my regret, I couldn’t be at Pele’s wake, I’m on the other side of the world, for work.
“Unfortunately, I could not make it. Does that change how I feel about Pele, or what he means to me and football? Never!
“What stays in my heart is the Edson I met when he called me to play when I was starting my journey in the national team, the one who was at my foundation and made Jardim Irene eternal, and the Pele who inspired me and has always been my great reference.
“This day does not invalidate our history and does not make you less important to me.”