FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has written to Nelson Mandela to wish the South African icon a happy 95th birthday and offer praise for the “inspirational example” he continues to set. And Blatter’s message on this landmark occasion was simple: “Let’s celebrate humanity!”

He wrote: “I would like to join the chorus of voices around the world wishing you all the best on your 95th birthday. Today we remember your courageous fight against oppression and the inspirational example you set to others who are battling injustice. And in the football world, we above all remember your championing of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, transforming it into a true celebration of humanity.

“May this message transmit to you all the energy, strength and goodwill of the football community as you continue your recovery from illness.”

Mandela is currently being treated in hospital for a recurring lung infection, and Blatter's letter concludes with the sentiments: "Thinking of you and thanking you for all that you have done for humanity."