Brazil mourns the death of Pele at age 82 as Christ the Redeemer and the Maracana are lit up

Christ the Redeemer and the Maracana stadium were lit up Thursday night in honor of Pele as Brazil mourned the death of soccer’s greatest star.

Pele died at the age of 82 Thursday at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo, after a long battle with colon cancer.

Considered soccer’s greatest ever by many across the world, in his native Brazil, he is praised as a god-like figure.

Christ the Redeemer and the Maracana stadium were lit up Thursday night in honor of Pele

Monuments across the country paid tribute to the soccer great as Brazil mourned its loss

Monuments across the country paid tribute to the soccer great as Brazil mourned its loss

Pele - widely considered one of the greatest players of all time - passed away at the age of 82

Pele – widely considered one of the greatest players of all time – passed away at the age of 82

The nation went into mourning after losing the soccer legend, who led it to its first ever World Cup in 1958, with many flooding to the streets or to Santos’s stadium to pay tribute to the King.

Pele emerged at his club Santos and led the Brazilian side to two Intercontinental Cup titles in 1962 and 1963.

He will be laid to rest at the Urbano Caldeira Stadium, the home of the soccer club, where a public wake is expected to take place.

Supporters of the club gathered outside the stadium to hold a vigil for the icon after news of his death broke Thursday afternoon.

Pele is football's greatest icon

He was a phenomenon who started his career aged just 15 at Santos in Brazil

Pele is football’s greatest icon, a phenomenon who started his career aged just 15 at Santos (R)

Supporters of Santos, the legend's club, gathered outside the Urbano Caldeira Stadium

Supporters of Santos, the legend’s club, gathered outside the Urbano Caldeira Stadium

Many held vigil to the soccer legend as they gathered by a mural of Pele outside the ground

Many held vigil to the soccer legend as they gathered by a mural of Pele outside the ground

Some supporters were seen breaking into tears and consoling each other at the ground

Some supporters were seen breaking into tears and consoling each other at the ground

Many were seen somberly holding their own tribute to Pele by a mural of the club legend painted on the side of the Urbano Caldeira Stadium.

Many fans grew visibly upset with some breaking into tears and consoling each other as they mourned soccer’s great loss.

Others brought massive white flags paying homage to Pele with images of his face or of him in his famous no. 10 jerseys with the phrase, ‘Pele forever you are the King,’ written underneath.

Some had brought bouquets of flowers to lay at the football ground with similar phrases on the wrapping, while others had spray-painted, ‘King Pele, idol,’ on the paving to pay their respects.

The mastermind of the beautiful game led Brazil to three World Cup wins

The mastermind of the beautiful game led Brazil to three World Cup wins

A fan of Santos Football Club gets upset in front of the mural at Urbano Caldeira Stadium

A fan of Santos Football Club gets upset in front of the mural at Urbano Caldeira Stadium

One supporter cried as he wrapped his arms around the shoulders of another

One supporter cried as he wrapped his arms around the shoulders of another

Others brought white flags with his image on and the phrase 'Pele forever you are the King'

Others brought white flags with his image on and the phrase ‘Pele forever you are the King’

Some had brought bouquets of flowers to lay at the football ground as they paid tribute

Some had brought bouquets of flowers to lay at the football ground as they paid tribute

Other supporters had spray-painted, 'King Pele, idol,' on the pavement to pay their respects

Other supporters had spray-painted, ‘King Pele, idol,’ on the pavement to pay their respects

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Pele has died at the age of 82 following his battle with colon cancer with the world of football in mourning for the Brazil legend

Pele has died at the age of 82 following his battle with colon cancer with the world of football in mourning for the Brazil legend

Over the last few days, Santos has changed its club badge, adding a golden crown to represent the King between the two gold stars acknowledging the Intercontinental Cup titles won in his heyday.

The young black kid from Tres Coracoes, in the southern reaches of Minas Gerais, led Brazil to their first World Cup, in Sweden in 1958, aged 17.

He went on to win two more World Cups with the Selecao first in Chile four years later and then the iconic third win in Mexico in 1970, making him the only player to have won soccer’s greatest honor three times.

Throughout his career, he scored 1,282 goals in 1,366 games, which included 77 in 92 appearances for his country.

The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, standing atop the Corcovado mountain above the city of Rio de Janeiro, was illuminated in green and yellow, colors of the national flag, to honor Pele.

The roof of the Maracana Stadium and its stands were also illuminated in yellow, a color of the Brazilian flag, to pay tribute to Pele.

The outside concourse surrounding the stadium was also cast in a green light – another color of Brazil.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo displayed an image of the national hero on the side of its headquarters.

The image of the mastermind of the beautiful game was lit up in hundreds of tiny lights to display a photo of the player in his youth with a single star above his head.

Elsewhere in the world the tributes flooded in as the facade of Conmebol’s headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, displayed a photo of Pele along with the national badge of Brazil.

The Wembley arch at England’s national stadium was also lit up Thursday evening. The famous London landmark and England’s ‘home of football’ paid its respects to the three-time World Cup winner by illuminating the arch in the famous green and yellow of Brazil.

The Christ the Redeemer statue, above Rio de Janeiro, was illuminated in green and yellow

The Christ the Redeemer statue, above Rio de Janeiro, was illuminated in green and yellow

The roof of the Maracana Stadium and its stands were also lit yellow, a color of the Brazilian flag

The roof of the Maracana Stadium and its stands were also lit yellow, a color of the Brazilian flag

Federation of the Industries of the State of Sao Paulo displayed an image of the national hero

Federation of the Industries of the State of Sao Paulo displayed an image of the national hero

The facade of Conmebol's headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, displayed a photo of Pele

The facade of Conmebol’s headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, displayed a photo of Pele

The Wembley arch at England's national stadium was also lit up Thursday evening

The Wembley arch at England’s national stadium was also lit up Thursday evening

Pele was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on November 29.

He had suffered from kidney and prostate problems since surgery to remove a tumor from his colon in September 2021.

Pele’s body will be taken from the Albert Einstein Hospital to the Urbano Caldeira Stadium in Vila Belmiro at dawn Monday and his coffin will be placed in the center of the pitch.

Anyone who wants to say goodbye to the ‘King of Football’ will enter through two gates and separate from politicians and the authorities.

The ceremony will continue until 10 am on Tuesday, January 3, when the parade will take place through the streets of Santos to the Ecumenical Necropolis Memorial where his burial will take place.

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