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Pele’s funeral: Brazil legend lying in state in Santos’ stadium

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Many mourners gathered at the Santos ground to pay their respects to Pele, the Brazil legend.


Pele’s coffin, which was placed in the middle of the pitch at Urbano Caldeira stadium (Sao Paulo), was seen by fans who lined the streets to enter the ground.

On 29 December,, the three-time World Cup champion died.

A procession will take place through Santos on Tuesday, at 12:00 GMT to honor a private family burial.

Gianni Infantino, Fifa president, said that they would ask all countries to name a football stadium in their country with the name “Pele”.

After Pele’s passing, Brazil declared three days national mourning.

The new president of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva will visit Santos in the state, Sao Paulo to pay his respects.

Pele, the world’s greatest player, was undergoing treatment for colon cancer in 2021.

Fans pay tribute to Pele by saying, “There will not be anyone else like Pele.”

As the hearse arrived at Stadium on Monday morning, thousands of fans lined the streets. Some waited overnight to see the coffin.

Former Brazil international midfielder Ze Roberto, and Pele’s son Edinho carried his coffin. Real Madrid sent floral wreaths by Neymar Junior, Vinicius Junior, and Real Madrid.

Beatrice woke at 6 AM to go with her husband to Santos. They had been waiting more than 2 hours in line.

The 56-year old told BBC that he was determined to pay his final respects.

Beatrice was asked about the meaning of Pele to Brazilians, besides football. He said that he had helped unify Brazil and break down racist norms in Brazilian society.

Wilson Genio waited with Miguel, his 13-year-old son. He was accompanied by white roses as well as a treasure: a Santos Football Club Flag personally signed and signed by the legend.

The flag says: “To your family Genio and your friend Pele”.

The Genio men had traveled overnight with the hearse transporting Pele’s body to Sao Paolo. “We followed him every step of the way. They said, “We’ve been here since 3.30am.”

“We could go on for another 1000, 2,000 years without a Pele. He is the only legend. ”

“The stadium draws the whole city to it”

Frances Mao from Santos BBC

It’s hot and humid in Santos. But it feels like everyone is attracted to Vila Belmiro stadium, where Pele’s coffin is.

The centre is filled with mourners who come in steady streams to pay their last respects. Sometimes, a few people give a little applause as they pass the coffin. People have travelled from all over Brazil and even the rest of the world. I see a Mexican flag and a Dutch pin.

Many news helicopters are flying overhead. The Santos Football Club has several news helicopters flying overhead.

Pele’s voice echoes through the stadium. His 2006 song “Meu Legado”, which means My Legacy, is on repeat.

A queue of thousands snakes along half a dozen blocks outside the stadium. In the noon sun, it takes two hours to wait.

Men are removing their shirts and wrapping them around their heads as bandanas. Others are adorning the specially printed tribute newspaper. Others have brought umbrellas and hats to pay their respects.

Sometimes, a Mexican wave waves through. Sometimes, there are chants of Pele. Rei! Rei!


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