Thousands lined the streets on Tuesday as a funeral procession took on football in grandeur skin to his final resting place.
I started on Urbano Caldera Stadiumhome of Pelé’s former club Santos, and his coffin was carried through the streets of Santos City, including the street where Pelé’s 100-year-old mother, Celeste Arantes, lived.
Continue to Memorial Necropole Ecumênica, where a private funeral will be held for family members.
The three-time World Cup winner died Thursday at the age of 82 of multiple organ failure due to the development of colon cancer.
Since then, tributes have poured in from around the world, with people of all ages flocking to his 24-hour public vigil, which kicked off Monday at Santos’ 16,000-seat stadium, known as “Villa Belmero.”
According to Santos, more than 230,000 people attended, many of them wearing Brazil’s famous yellow jersey.
CNN teams on the ground said the stadium doors were closed with thousands of mourners in line and people were turned away.
Huge crowds then lined the streets, waving flags and applauding as the Brazilian’s coffin passed by.
Pele’s sister, Lucia, was seen crying from the balcony of the crowd that had gathered outside her mother’s house. Then the coffin reached the cemetery.
Brazilian president Lola da Silva Santos told CNN he arrived Tuesday morning with police security “significantly” beefed up to accommodate the president’s presence.
“Pele is incomparable as a football player and as a human being,” Lula said Tuesday, according to Reuters.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino also traveled to Brazil to offer his condolences on Monday.
“Pele is eternal,” Infantino told Reuters reporters. FIFA will surely honor the ‘King’ as he deserves.
“We have asked all the football associations of the world to observe a minute of silence before each match and we will also ask them, 211 countries, to name a stadium after Pele. Future generations must know and remember who Pele was.”
For more than 60 years, Pele’s name has been synonymous with football. He played in four World Cups and is the only player in history to win three times, but his legacy extends far beyond his trophy count and impressive goalscoring record.
Pele famously said: “I was born to play football, just as Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo was born to paint.”
Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in history, and Brazil observed three days of national mourning following his death.
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