Ahead of World Cup game, Brazil coach recalls meeting Pelé

Dec 3, 2022, 6:29 PM | Updated: Dec 4, 2022, 8:44 am
Brazil's head coach Tite attends a press conference on the eve of World Cup round of 16 soccer matc...

Brazil's head coach Tite attends a press conference on the eve of World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and South Korea in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

              The image of former Brazilian player Pele with the message "We Love You" is displayed on a building in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo to regulate the medication in his fight against a colon tumor, his daughter said on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              An image of former Brazilian player Pele with the message "Pele, Get well soon" is displayed on the Torch tower outside the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo to regulate the medication in his fight against a colon tumor, his daughter said on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              Brazil's head coach Tite smiles during a press conference on the eve of World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and South Korea in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              Brazil's head coach Tite, left, and player Thiago Silva attend a press conference on the eve of World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and South Korea in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              Brazil's head coach Tite attends a press conference on the eve of World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and South Korea in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Brazil coach Tite recalled his emotional first meeting with Pelé, and sent the soccer great well-wishes Sunday ahead of Brazil’s game against South Korea at the World Cup.

Tite said Pelé, who has been hospitalized with a respiratory infection in Brazil, was the only person who ever made him nervous before they were introduced.

“I was shaking, my hand was sweating, my heart started beating faster,” Tite said without revealing when the meeting took place. “I was about to have the opportunity to hug Pelé.”

The 82-year-old Pelé, who had a colon tumor removed last year, is undergoing treatment for his infection and said he was feeling “strong.”

“Get well, Pelé,” Tite said.

Brazilian fans showed their support for the soccer great during the national team’s 1-0 loss to Cameroon on Friday, displaying banners and flags with his image at Lusail Stadium. Other tributes were expected before and during Monday’s match against South Korea in the round of 16.

Pelé helped Brazil win three World Cup titles. The five-time champions are trying to win their first World Cup title since 2002.

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Ahead of World Cup game, Brazil coach recalls meeting Pelé