The flags of all nations were lowered to half-mast at the headquarters of world football’s governing body FIFA on Friday in honour of the game’s “eternal king” Pele.
The Brazil legend, the only player to have won the World Cup three times, died at the age of 82 on Thursday, triggering an outpouring of tributes from across the globe for a man who transcended the sport.
“Flags at the home of FIFA in Zurich are flying at half-mast today, as we remember the eternal king: Pele,” the organisation said on Twitter.
On a misty winter’s day in northern Switzerland, the flag of FIFA, as well as flags from the regional football confederations, were lowered outside the governing body’s headquarters.
FIFA has 211 member associations and their flags, Brazil’s included, were at half-mast lining the football pitch next to the building on the edge of Zurich.
“Since the news was confirmed, the world of football has been united. In their sadness, and in sharing their memories and love of a man who was simply named ‘O Rei’ - The King,” FIFA said on its website.
Pele was named by FIFA as the greatest player of the 20th century.
“For everyone who loves the beautiful game, this is the day we never wanted to come. The day we lost Pele,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement on Thursday.
“We all mourn the loss of the physical presence of our dear Pele, but he achieved immortality a long time ago and therefore he will be with us for eternity.”