Michael Caine says it was a 'great privilege' to film with Pele

The two starred in Escape to Victory together

Brazilian soccer legend and member of the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup-winning Brazilian soccer teams Pele holds the World Cup trophy during the World Cup 2006 opening ceremony in Munich June 9, 2006.  FIFA RESTRICTION - NO MOBILE USE    (GERMANY)     REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Pele with the World Cup in Munich in 2006. (Alamy)

Michael Caine has said it was a "great privilege" to work with Pele on their 1981 film Escape to Victory.

The legendary footballer died last month at the age of 82 and is widely regarded as the greatest footballer in history.

Read more: Fifa president Infantino 'takes selfie beside Pele's open coffin'

His fame also led to him being cast in Second World War drama Escape to Victory alongside Caine, Sylvester Stallone and other football stars such as Mike Summerbee and Bobby Moore.

(L-R) Michael Caine, soccer great Pele, and Sylvester Stallone at a party celebrating the 7/16 opening of the film
Michael Caine, Pele and Sylvester Stallone. (Getty)

Caine paid tribute to Pele in a statement to the PA press agency, saying: "It was such a great privilege for me to film with Pele."

He added: "He was the most outstanding football talent, who could act. He was also a huge global humanitarian icon."

Stallone also paid tribute to the Brazilian footballer on Instagram, posting a number of photos of the two of them together along with the caption: "Pele the great! Rest in peace! This was a good man."

Before his death on 29 December, Pele had been diagnosed with cancer since having a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021.

Pele and Sylvester Stallone in Escape to Victory. (Alamy)

He had been undergoing treatment for the disease since the procedure.

After his death, a message on Pele's Instagram said: "Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today. On his journey, Edson enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love. His message today becomes a legacy for future generations."

Pele rose to fame at the 1958 World Cup when he was just 17 and named Best Young Player at the end of the tournament which Brazil won.

He is the only player to win the World Cup three times, having done so in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

Watch below: Fans line the route as Pele's coffin travels through Santos.