Pelé fans sob outside Santos' stadium as they mourn death of football legend
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Tearful fans of football icon Pelé have paid tribute outside Santos' stadium as Brazil goes into mourning.
Pelé died aged 82 on Thursday at Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo, following a lengthy battle with colon cancer.
He is considered football's greatest athletes and is celebrated as a God-like figure in his home country Brazil.
People gathered outside Estádio Urbano Caldeira, the home stadium for Pelé's Santos football club, to pay their respects.
Members of the public held a vigil at the stadium - which is also known as the Vila Belmiro stadium - for the beloved football player after news of his death broke.
Many fans were seen holding a tribute by a mural of Pelé painted on the side of the stadium. People grew visibly upset, with some fans breaking into tears while others consoled them.
Other spectator's brought large white flags to pay tribute to the late football player, which included pictures of his face and his iconic No. 10 jersey with the phrase, 'Pelé forever you are the king,' written underneath.
There were also bouquets of flowers brought by flans to lay at the football stadium, while others opted to spray paint 'King Pelé , idol' on the paving in an act of homage.
Pelé played for Santos for almost 20 years where he rose to becoming a world renowned figure in the world of sports. He also won three World Cups.
He led the nation to its first World Cup win in 1958.
Pelé will be laid to rest at the Urbano Caldeira Stadium, the home of the football club, where a public wake is expected to take place in the coming days.
Pelé's agent Joe Fraga confirmed the news of his death to the Associated Press on Thursday (29 December).
The sporting legend was hospitalised on 29 November to give doctors time to reevaluate his treatment, and not long before Christmas his daughter, Kely Nascimento-Deluca, confirmed that he would be staying at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo over the festive season.
It was determined that his cancer had advanced and he would require treatment for heart and kidney trouble, though in early December Pelé had released a statement encouraging everyone to keep 'calm and positive'.
Pelé was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, but became known globally as Pelé as he established himself as one of football's most famous players.