Pelé: Funeral procession begins after 24-hour wake


Thousands of people lined the streets Tuesday as a funeral procession carried the football giant to his final resting place.

It began at the Urbano Caldera stadium, home of Pele’s former club Santos, and his coffin was carried through the streets of Santos, including the street where Pele’s 100-year-old mother, Celeste Arantes, lives.

It continued to the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica Cemetery, where a private funeral service was held for family members.

The three-time World Cup champion died on Thursday at the age of 82 of multi-organ failure due to advanced colon cancer.

Tributes have since poured in from around the world, with people of all ages flocking to his 24-hour public wake, which began on Monday at Santos’ 16,000-capacity stadium, known as Villa Belmiro.

According to Santos, more than 230,000 people attended the event, many of them wearing Brazil’s iconic yellow jersey.

Pele's casket is taken through the streets with a fire truck.

According to CNN teams on the ground, the doors to the stadium were closed and thousands of mourners were still lined up and people turned away.

Huge crowds lined the streets, waving flags and clapping after the Brazilian’s casket passed by.

Pele’s sister, Lucia, was seen tearfully waving from a balcony to the crowd gathered outside her mother’s home. Then the coffin arrived at the cemetery.

Brazil’s president, Lula da Silva, arrived Tuesday morning amid “heavily” heightened police security for the president’s presence, Santos told CNN.

“Pele is incomparable as a football player and as a human being,” Lula told Reuters on Tuesday.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino also traveled to Brazil on Monday to pay his respects.

Brazilian President Loya da Silva saluted Pele's wife at a memorial service on Tuesday.

Infantino told reporters: Pele is eternal. FIFA will surely honor “The King” as he deserves.

We have asked all the world’s football associations to observe a minute’s silence before every match and we are also asking them, 211 countries, to name a stadium after Pele. Future generations should know and remember who Pele was.”

Pele’s name has been synonymous with football for more than 60 years. He played in four World Cups and is the only player in history to win three, but his legacy goes beyond the number of trophies and his impressive goalscoring record.

Pele famously said: “I was born to play football, just like Beethoven was born to write music and Michelangelo to paint.”

Pele, known as Edson Arantes de 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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