This Monday takes place the wake of Pelé, who disappeared last Thursday at the age of 82at the Vila Belmiro stadium, in the city of Santos, where «O Rei» played at home for most of his sports career.
The ceremony is attended by the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, personalities from the world of football, Pelé’s relatives and hundreds of fans who mourn the loss of the ‘King’.
The footballer’s coffin was carried by Edinho, Pelé’s son; former player Zé Roberto and part of the Santos staff to a tent located in the center of the field, a space that is reserved for family members.
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Subsequently, they opened the doors to fans who wanted to say their last goodbye to the three-time world champion. A) Yes, the funeral began five minutes late with respect to the scheduled time.
Since then, the first images of Pelé’s body have been released. In them you can see him covered by white cloth and veils.
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On the field, next to the main tent for the footballer’s family and friends, there is a second tent, located in parallel. It is dedicated to the authorities of the world of football and politics.
The fans entered through a side door and approached the coffin by a walkway located a few meters from the main tent, while a samba song called «Eu sou Pelé» (I am Pelé) was heard from the stadium’s public address system, performed by the former player.
At the time the ceremony began, hundreds of Brazilian fans lined up outside the Santos stadium, some of whom spent the night there.
(Also: Pelé, eternal glory! The story of the Brazilian who made magic on the pitches)
in the stands of Villa Belmiro Dozens of white shirts with Pelé’s number 10 were hung, as well as huge banners that read «Long live the King», «Pelé 82 years old» and «the only one to stop a war».
The wake will last 24 hours, until 10:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday, when a funeral procession will begin that will go through the streets of Santos, a port city located about 80 kilometers from Sao Paulo, where the former soccer player died. The procession will pass through the Channel 6 area, where Pelé’s mother lives, Celeste Arantes, who is 100 years old, before heading to the Ecumenical Necropolis Memorial Cemetery, where he will be buried in a private ceremony, reserved for family members.
Pelé died last Thursday in the Sao Paulo hospital where he had been admitted for a month due to multi-organ failure caused by colon cancer that was diagnosed in 2021. Pelé’s death has caused a commotion in the king of sports and in Brazil, where the Government decreed official three-day mourning.
*With information from EFE