Vinicius Junior sent “a strong hug” to Pele and says Brazil can keep “dancing until the final” after helping the Selecao beat South Korea 4-1 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.
Three-time World Cup winner Pele has been receiving treatment in Sao Paulo, though his family have denied reports that he is receiving palliative care.
On social media, the Selecao legend confirmed he would be watching Brazil’s knockout clash with South Korea and will have enjoyed the performance as Vinicius opened the scoring before a Neymar penalty put him one short of Pele’s all-time scoring record for his nation.
Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta rounded off the scoring to give Brazil a four-goal advantage at the break, with Paik Seung-ho’s effort in the second half merely being a consolation.
Asked what message the victory sends, Vinicius told Globo Esporte: “That we can keep dancing until the final.
“And send a strong hug to Pele, who is in need of strength. This victory goes to him, so that he can get out of this situation.
“[It says that] we can be champion for him.”
3 – Neymar has become the third Brazilian player to score in three different editions of the World Cup, alongside Ronaldo and Pelé. Pantheon.
— OptaJoao (@OptaJoao)
Brazil’s performance against Croatia was their stand-out display of the competition so far, having shown flashes of their brilliance during the group stages, and Vinicius feels there is more to come.
“As time went by, we were growing up in the competition. Every game that passes we are more confident and intertwined,” he added.
“Today we play against a team that gives space, and when it gives space to us it is very complicated for the opponent. We have a lot of moves and personality to make a great game.”
Brazil will clash with Croatia in the quarter-final, who defeated Japan on penalties earlier on Monday after a 1-1 draw.