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Gallery: Mandela and football

Football has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, after the iconic former South African president died at the age of 95.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who met Mandela several times as South Africa prepared to host the 2010 World Cup, said: "It is in deep mourning that I pay my respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time and a dear friend of mine: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

"He and I shared an unwavering belief in the extraordinary power of football to unite people in peace and friendship, and to teach basic social and educational values as a school of life."

Footballers including Cristiano Ronaldo, Jack Wilshere, Rio Ferdinand, Yaya Toure, Ruud Gullit and Gary Lineker - many of whom will have been fortunate enough to meet Mandela - along with many of the world's biggest football clubs were quick to pay tribute via Twitter and other social media.