Brazil begins 3 days of mourning for soccer superstar Pelé

Brazil began three days of mourning on Friday, a day after the death of soccer icon Pele, a national hero widely regarded as one of the greatest players in his sport.

Pelé died Thursday at the age of 82 after a long battle with cancer. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro declared the mourning period in a decree he signed on Friday, two days before he left office.

WATCH | Fans around the world pay tribute to Pelé:

The world remembers Brazilian football legend Pelé

Football fans and admirers around the world are mourning and paying tribute to Brazil’s ‘King Pele’ who died aged 82 on Thursday.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to the world as Pelé, rose from poverty to become one of the greatest athletes in modern history. He was the only man to win three World Cups as a player, scoring 12 goals in 14 World Cup appearances.

One of the many images exhibited to pay tribute to Pelé in Brazil could be seen on a building in Sao Paulo on Thursday evening.

An image of Pelé in Sao Paulo.

(Mauro Horita/Getty Images)

Elsewhere, a young boy posed in front of a flag of the late Brazilian soccer star outside the Vila Belmiro stadium, home of soccer club Santos FC, in the Brazilian coastal city on Thursday. Pelé has played most of his career with Santos FC.

A boy poses next to an image of football legend Pelé.

(Matias Delacroix/Associated Press)

Another fan went to the Pelé Museum in Santos on Friday to take a photo.

A visitor stands outside the Pele Museum in Santos, Brazil.

(Matias Delacroix/Associated Press)

And this fan, below, posed for a photo next to a statue of the soccer legend, also in Santos, on Friday. Fans will be able to pay their last respects to Pelé during the funeral at Santos Stadium on Monday and Tuesday.

A statue of Pelé in Santos, Brazil.

(Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images)

Also on Friday, fans Antonio da Paz and Renato Souza stood outside Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, holding memorabilia honoring their hero.

Two men hold souvenirs in honor of Pelé.

(Marcelo Chello/Associated Press)

Newspapers around the world paid tribute to Pelé with front-page coverage. Brazilian daily O Globo published a commemorative edition of four covers highlighting the football star’s career. On its front page, Spain’s El Pais said: « Goodbye to Pelé, ‘king’ of football », with a photo of him celebrating the 1970 World Cup triumph.

Newspapers honor Pelé.


French sports daily L’Equipe has changed its headline colors to reflect Brazil’s green and yellow, with a picture of a young Pelé adorning its cover. There were also the words « Pelé. He was a king. »

Below, a woman holds a Brazilian daily headline about Pele’s death at a newsstand in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

A woman looks at the newspapers.

(Mauro Pimental/AFP/Getty Images)

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