Brazil icon Pele pays heartfelt tribute to 'blue phantom' Gordon Banks

and all-time football icon Pele has penned an emotional tribute to England legend Gordon Banks, following his death after a long battle with illness.
News of Banks' passing was announced on Tuesday, after his health had deteriorated significantly in recent weeks. Tributes have since been flooding in for the 81-year-old, with Pele leading the way.
Both men share a special connection due to a moment which occurred during a match with Brazil at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico
, in which Banks pulled off what is often considered the greatest save of all time to deny Pele's header at point-blank range.
Taking to social media to pay his respects Pele wrote a lengthy post filled with emotion, as he recounted that iconic moment and explained just why his relationship with Banks became so special.
'This man, Banks, appeared in my sight, like a kind of blue phantom, is how I described him,' said Pele of the moment he headed the ball.
'He came from nowhere and he did something I didn't feel was possible. He pushed my header, somehow, up and over. 
'And I couldn't believe what I saw. Even now when I watch it l, I can't believe it. I can't believe how he moved so far, so fast.'
Despite going down as one of the finest players to have graced the beautiful game, Pele admitted the one thing most fans wish to talk about with him is not a specific goal - but the moment he was thwarted by Banks.
'I scored so many goals in my life, but many people, when they meet me, always ask me about that save,' Pele explained.
'While it was indeed phenomenal, my memory of Gordon is not defined by that - it is defined by his friendship. He was a kind and warm man who gave so much to people.
'So I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure. Whenever we met, it was always like we had never been apart.
'Rest in peace, my friend. Yes, you were a goalkeeper with magic. But you were also so much more. You were a fine human being.' 
Former Stoke and Leicester City stopper Banks, who was part of the famous England side who lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for the first and only time at Wembley 53 years ago this summer, died following a battle with kidney cancer.
Stoke paid a personal tribute to their former player
on Tuesday, with the entire first-team squad, academy squads and staff coming together at the club's training base to form a large circle and hold a minute's silence.

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