Thousands Line The Streets As Brazilian Football Legend Is Laid To Rest
Thousands line the streets as Brazilian football legend is laid to rest. Pele, an iconic figure in Brazilian football, was laid to rest in Santos, the city of his former club, and thousands of mourners lined the streets to pay their respects.
Pele's body had been laid out in the open for the public to pay their respects in the middle of the field at the Urbano Caldeira stadium of the club for the previous twenty-four hours.On Tuesday, there was a large crowd gathered in the streets to watch his coffin be transported on a fire truck to a private family funeral.
On December 29, Pele, who had previously won the World Cup three times, passed away at the age of 82. Since 2021, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer, this football player, who is widely regarded as the best the game has ever seen, had been undergoing treatment.
After his passing, the government of Brazil observed a period of national mourning for three consecutive days, and Brazil's newly elected president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, went to Santos to pay his respects to the late dictator.
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Crowds line streets to pay final respects to Brazil football legend Pele - BBC News
Pele's casket, which was draped in the Brazilian flag and placed on a fire truck, was transported through the crowds of mourning fans. The procession also went by the house where his mother, Celeste Arantes, who is currently 100 years old, still resides.
More than 230,000 people, according to Santos FC, attended his 24-hour wake in the Vila Belmiro stadium, where a steady stream of mourners continued to attend the service throughout the night.
The funeral procession came to an end at the Memorial Cemetery in the port city, where a Catholic funeral service was held prior to Pele being entombed in a mausoleum that holds the Guinness World Record for being the tallest cemetery on Earth. The mausoleum is ten stories tall.
The casket of Pele was carried through the streets of Santos atop a fire truck, as is customary in Brazil. Fans who accompanied the funeral procession chanted "Pele, 1,000 goals" as they passed. Hundreds of people marched through the streets waving enormous banners and sporting the now-iconic number 10 shirt that he made famous.
Although today was a day of mourning for the man Brazilians refer to as their King, it was also clearly a moment to celebrate his life and legacy. Pele was, and will continue to be, Brazil's greatest source of national pride, and this news brought joy and happiness to the country's citizens.
On Monday, Deofilo de Freitas was the first person in line at the stadium, but he held out hope that he would have another opportunity to see his hero before he was laid to rest. He said:
Pele was the Pele of the people, he joined all of us, it'll be hard to find someone else like him. In addition to being the best player in the world, he was a marvellous human being.
- Deofilo de Freitas
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, nicknamed Pelé, was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. He was one of the most successful and popular sports figures of the twentieth century, regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and dubbed "the greatest" by FIFA.
In 1999, the International Olympic Committee named him Athlete of the Century, and he was named one of Time's 100 most influential people of the twentieth century. Pelé was named World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) in 2000, and he was also named FIFA Player of the Century. His 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, including friendlies, is a Guinness World Record.
Pelé joined Santos at the age of 15 and the Brazil national team at the age of 16. He was the only player to win three FIFA World Cups during his international career, in 1958, 1962, and 1970. Following the 1958 tournament, he earned the moniker O Rei (The King). Pelé is Brazil's joint top goalscorer, with 77 goals in 92 games.
With 643 goals in 659 games for Santos, he was the club's all-time leading scorer. He led Santos to the Copa Libertadores in 1962 and 1963, as well as the Intercontinental Cup in 1962 and 1963.
Pelé is credited with popularizing the phrase "The Beautiful Game" through his "electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals," and his teams toured internationally to capitalize on his popularity.
Pelé was the highest-paid athlete in the world for a time during his playing career. After retiring in 1977, Pelé became a global football ambassador and pursued numerous acting and commercial ventures. He was named honorary president of the New York Cosmos in 2010.
Santos FC, where Pele spent the majority of his club career, tweeted:
Our eternal King Pele says goodbye in Vila Belmiro, his home, with his people.
- Santos FC