Football legend Pele’s coffin was carried through the streets of Santos, Brazil as people paid their last respects to the sporting icon.
Thousands of spectators gathered to watch the procession to bid a final farewell to the three-time World Cup winner before his private burial.
The coffin, draped in a Brazilian flag, passed through the neighborhood where Pele’s 100-year-old mother lives, as mourners gathered.
The former Santos FC star, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nescimento, He died on Friday at the age of 82.After a battle with colon cancer.
The star, widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time, will be laid to rest today at the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis Cemetery overlooking the Santos Stadium.
His last wish was to choose the ninth floor of the cemetery in his hometown – in tribute to his father who wore the number 9 shirt as a player.
Three days of national mourning were observed in Brazil. After his death, viz 230,000 people flocked to the 16,000-seat stadium to see his open casket where he lay in state for 24 hours.
‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for the game’
Football fans and sports icons around the world continue to pay tribute to the star.
Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “Goodbye Paley. Thank you for everything you did for the game you made so beautiful.”
However, FIFA president Gianni Infantino came under fire for taking a selfie while visiting Pele’s casket, which some critics on social media called “shameless”.
Mr Infantino defended his actions and said in an Instagram post that Pele’s teammates asked to take a photo with him, adding that he was “disappointed” by the criticism.
Pele had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer since 2021. The medical center where he was treated said he died of multiple organ failure as a result of cancer.
During his international career, he won three World Cups – in 1958, 1962 and 1970 – the only player to achieve the feat.
Dubbed the “King of Soccer”, Pele played for Santos from 1956 to 1974 and scored over 1,000 goals.
He played almost his entire club career in Santos, a satellite city of São Paulo, where he grew up.
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