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Long-time barber mourns death of soccer hero Pele


Pele celebrates a goal. Action Images via Reuters/File Photo

A barber who first met Brazilian soccer legend Pele in the 1950s and cut his hair for decades said on Friday he hoped God would take care of the late athlete.

Pele, who died on Thursday aged 82, rose from poverty to become one of the greatest athletes in modern history and the only man to win three World Cups as a player.

“He came to have his hair cut a couple of times a month and to cut his beard it was every two days,” said Joao Araujo, who said he first met Pele in 1956 or 1957 and whose barber shop in the city of Santos houses memorabilia of the star. Pele spent most of his playing career at Santos soccer club.

Araujo said he last saw Pele, who suffered colon cancer, last year.

“(I hope) God takes care of him.”