Brazilian football legend Pele, often recognised as the greatest footballer ever, continues to be in palliative, end-of-life care to help him deal with pain and shortness of breath due to chemotherapy for colon cancer. As the footballing fraternity and fans all over the world pray for him, a 29-year-old artist from Paraguay handpainted a football to pay tribute to the football legend.
Paraguayan artist Lili Cantero painted a football showing Pele kissing the Fifa World Cup trophy at Conmebol headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Cantero is known for making intricate portraits on wearable objects. In 2020, she painted a pair of football boots that she sent to Argentine star Lionel Messi when he was playing in Barcelona. The boots showed lovely detailing with a gallery of black and white images of Messi and his family.
Cantero is in Qatar as she is preparing a new colourful show of her work. The Asuncion-born artist is painting some two dozen sets of boots, balls, and canvases, many inspired by the Middle Eastern nation and its capital Doha.
Pele was voted the World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics and was one of the two joint winners of the Fifa Player of the Century.
The Guinness World Records recognises him for scoring the highest number of goals, 1,279 in 1,363 games, including friendlies.
Pele is also credited with connecting the phrase “The Beautiful Game” to football. He is the only footballer to have won three FIFA World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970) and scored 77 goals for Brazil in 92 caps from 1957-1971. At the club level, he played for Brazilian club Santos and US team New York Cosmos before retiring in 1977.