The coffin with the mortal remains of Pelé arrived this Monday morning at the Santos stadium, the team in which the Brazilian soccer star played most of his career.
The coffin entered the facilities of Vila Belmiro carried, among others, by his son Edinho and former soccer player Zé Roberto, from the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo, where he died on December 29 at the age of 82.
Pelé's mortal remains were installed under a tent in the Santos midfield on January 2, 2023, to receive the last goodbye of his fans. Wagner Meier / Getty Images
Since dawn, thousands of fans lined up waiting for the stadium doors to open to pay their last tribute to 'O Rei'.
The coffin was installed in the center of the field, witness to the hundreds of goals that Pelé scored wearing the Santos shirt.
The funeral chapel will be open until 10 am on Tuesday (local time).
A funeral procession will later tour the streets of the city of Santos, including the one where the mother of the Brazilian star lives, Celestes Arantes, who is 100 years old, according to the Brazilian press.
['King Pelé' dies at 82 years of age. Brazil and the football world are in mourning]
['King Pelé' dies at 82 years of age.
Brazil and the football world are in mourning]
The procession will continue to the Ecumênica Necrópole Memorial Cemetery, where a private funeral will be held for the family before Pelé is buried.
goodbye to the king of football
Pelé's death mourned the world of sport and united all Brazilians in grief.
The soccer star died of multi-organ failure, after spending a month hospitalized due to the aggravation of colon cancer that he had suffered since 2021.
The worsening of his health coincided with the World Cup in Qatar, but even so he did not stop supporting the
through social networks.
Thousands of people lined up at the gates of the Santos stadium, Vila Belmiro, to bid farewell to Pelé on January 2, 2023. Wagner Meier / Getty Images
"Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace," his daughter Kely do Nascimento wrote on Instagram, along with a photograph of several relatives intertwining their hands with those of the soccer legend.
Pelé leaves behind an unparalleled stratospheric legacy: the only player in the world to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), the youngest world champion (17 years old), more than 1,200 goals scored and a record number of goals scored in the same game ( 8 of the 11 that Santos achieved against Botafogo in 1964), among other statistics.
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He led Brazil to glory thanks to a style that influenced other contemporary legends of Brazilian football such as Romario, Ronaldo or Neymar.
His mark was so deep that the sport cannot be understood without him.