Fact-check: Viral pic of Pele grieving at Maradona's grave is fake

Legendary Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona's death has shocked the entire world. At 60, the Argentina legend suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away on November 25. Maradona's fans are left devastated by the loss of the "Hand of God" and the entire football fraternity mourned the loss of the legend. In an emotional tribute to Maradona, Brazilian icon Pele said he lost a great friend and hopes to play ball together in the sky.

"I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky," Pele had tweeted along with a throwback photo

But on a completely unrelated note, a photo of Pele mourning the loss of his friend at Maradona's grave went viral. Many assumed the pic was real, so it was widely shared. Even verified handles like that of Bollywood singer Adnan Sami shared the same pic on his Twitter handle.

The Claim

The viral pic shows Pele at Maradona's grave holding flowers. The emotion captured on Pele's face shows his grief on the loss of his friend. Pele's tribute was as it is an emotional one, and it didn't require effort to believe the pic was real.

Pele at Maradona's grave IBTimes


As the photo of Pele visiting Maradona's grave went viral, IBTimes ran a quick fact-check to vet the authenticity of the same. A simple reverse image search of the viral photo redirected to another similar photo on Google. It wasn't one with Pele, but rather a stock photo of a White male in his late-30s holding the exact same bouquet of flowers and wearing the same overcoat, formal shows, and grey pant, with what appears to be a smartphone in the left pocket. The original photo is available on iStock with the caption: "They were her favorite flowers stock photo."

Now going back to Pele's pic, someone photoshopped the Brazil footballer's face on the original pic and added a filter to differentiate it from the original pic. Diego Maradona's name was photoshopped on the grave stone to add a touch of authenticity. It is all photoshopped in such a way that it would be hard to call it out as fake.

After tracing the original pic, which was used as a base to photoshop Pele's face on it, IBTimes has arrived at the conclusion that it is indeed fake.

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