RIP Mandela: Here's how the football fraternity reacted to his death

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Footballers from across the world have expressed their grief at the death of Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

The former South African president witnessed his nation host the first-ever World Cup in Africa in 2010 and his passing casted a shadow over Friday's group stage draw in Brazil.

And players, clubs and officials took to Twitter to express their sorrow at the death of the former South African president.

Here are messages and words from players, clubs, coaches and officials from across the globe for Mandela.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter tweeted: My respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time: Nelson Mandela. 

Brazil football legend Pele also paid tribute. He tweeted: "He was my hero, my friend."

"He was my companion in the struggle for the popular cause and for world peace. "Let us carry on his work. He was one of the most influential people in my life," the soccer legend wrote.

Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo also tweeted: "Thankful Madiba for your legacy and your example. You"ll always stay with us."

The Barcelona icon Gerard Pique tweeted: "2010 World Cup is in my heart. As other incredible things,it would never happened without @NelsonMandela Thanks #Madiba."

Manchester United star Michael Carrick also tweeted: "RIP #NelsonMandela #Madiba
A real inspiration. Lived once but his legacy lives forever."

Vincent Kompany took to Twitter also to express his sorrows. He tweeted: "RIP Nelson Mandela. No words to describe the goodness you have brought to this world. Sad to see you go. Inspirational, my only ever hero."

Jermain Defoe also tweeted: "Just heard sad news about Nelson Mandela at premiere of his film. A truly courageous & inspirational man. RIP #Mandela."

A memorial service will take place at a football stadium in Johannesburg on Monday and afterwards he will lie in State for three days in Pretoria.

He will then be taken to his birthplace, where he will be buried on Saturday week.

May his soul rest in peace.

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Michael Carrick
Vincent Kompany
Gerard Pique
Jermain Defoe

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