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Sporting world pays tribute to Brazilian legend Pele

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FIFA lowered all flags at its headquarters in Zurich following the death of Pele, while the Premier League and A-League pledged to pay tribute to the football great through applause as the sporting world bid farewell to one of its greatest heroes.

Brazil's Pele, a prolific goalscorer who won the World Cup an unprecedented three times as a player in 1958, 1962 and 1970, died on Thursday aged 82 after a long battle with cancer, according to Reuters.

A spokesperson for world football's governing body FIFA said the flags at its headquarters had been lowered "as a symbol of mourning and respect."

The Premier League confirmed that players will also wear black armbands during matches, while Spain's LaLiga said it would observe a minute's silence ahead of games.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah shared a picture of Pele on Instagram, writing in the caption: "Farewell to a legend of football."

Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi posted a black and white photo of a young Pele smiling, writing on Twitter, "your legacy will be eternal."

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) said all A-League games this weekend will hold a minute's applause before kick-off.

"Paying tribute to an icon. Supporters are encouraged to join a moment of applause before every game in the A-League this weekend to celebrate the life and football of @Pele, who has passed away aged 82," the A-League said in a statement on social media.

"May he rest in peace."

The minute's applause was observed ahead of Western United's home game against Brisbane Roar on Friday.

Brazilian tennis player Thiago Monteiro, who is in Australia for the United Cup mixed teams tournament, said it was a sad day for Brazil.

"Pele was our biggest idol in sports. He did so much even for the country, to showing Brazil to the world, and we had a lot of respect for him," Monteiro told reporters.

"I think he was the first athlete in Brazil that we could have this reference, that we could get some of this passion about what we are doing, what we have to do to achieve our dreams, and for sure it was example for us."

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