Brazil begins 3 days of mourning for soccer superstar Pelé

Brazil has begun three days of mourning, a day after the death of soccer icon Pelé, a national hero widely regarded as one of his sport's greatest players. 

Fans gather and newspapers hail 'the king' of soccer, who died Thursday at age 82

A banner with the image of soccer legend Pele is seen inside Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
A Brazil fan holds a replica of the World Cup trophy in front of a banner of soccer superstar Pelé inside Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Dec. 2, 2022, a day before Brazil lost a World Cup match to Cameroon. Pelé died Thursday (Dec. 29) after a long battle with cancer. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

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

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

WATCH | Fans worldwide pay tribute to Pelé: 

World remembers Brazilian soccer legend Pelé

5 months ago
Duration 2:30
Soccer fans and admirers around the world mourn and pay tribute to Brazil's 'King Pelé' who died Thursday at the age of 82.

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 matches.

One of the many images on display to pay homage to Pelé in Brazil could be seen on a building in Sao Paulo on Thursday night.

An image of Pele 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 the Santos FC soccer club, in the Brazilian coastal city on Thursday. Pelé played most of his career with Santos FC.

A boy poses next to an image of soccer legend Pele.

(Matias Delacroix/The 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/The Associated Press)

And this fan, below, posed for a picture next to a statue depicting the soccer legend, also in Santos, on Friday. Fans will be able to pay their final respects to Pelé during funeral services at the Santos stadium on Monday and Tuesday.

A statue of Pele in Santos, Brazil.

(Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images)

Also on Friday, fans Antonio da Paz and Renato Souza stood in front of the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, holding memorabilia honouring their hero.

Two men hold memorabilia honoring Pele.

(Marcelo Chello/The Associated Press)

Newspapers from around the world paid tribute to Pelé with front-page coverage. Brazilian daily O Globo had a commemorative four-cover edition highlighting the late soccer star's career. On its front page, Spain's El Pais said, "Goodbye to Pele, 'the king' of football," with a picture of him celebrating the 1970 World Cup triumph.

Newspapers honour Pele.


French sports daily L'Equipe switched its headline colours to reflect the green and yellow of Brazil, with a picture of a young Pelé adorning its cover. It also had the words "Pelé. He was a King."

Below, a woman holds a Brazilian daily newspaper headlining Pelé's death on a newsstand in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

A woman looks at newspapers.

(Mauro Pimental/AFP/Getty Images)

With files from Reuters and The Associated Press