Pelé thanks God after being given special honorary Ballon d’Or awardPelé thanks the audience after receiving his award -
Brazil legend Pelé was honoured at today’s Ballon d’Or award ceremony by being given a special honorary award due to the fact that he never qualified for the Ballon d’Or during his playing career.
It has only been in recent years that players from all over the globe could qualify for the award, previously it was restricted to footballers based in Europe.
And due to that fact, FIFA decided to right the wrongs of yester year by giving one of the greatest players ever a Ballon d’Or award.
After receiving the accolade to a standing ovation, Pelé was overwhelmed with emotion due to the response and said his trophy collection was now complete.
“I promised to my family that I would not cry but I am emotional.
“I got so many trophies and prizes but I was jealous because all of those guys who got the Ballon d’Or, which I couldn’t get because I didn’t play in Europe.
“Now I thank God that I can complete my trophies at home.”
For the forward that won three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970) as well as various other titles and individual awards it is fitting that the final trophy in his career is a special Ballon d’Or.