Fans prepare to toast Edson Arantes do Nascimento ‘Pele’ one last goodbye The coffin of the Brazilian star is already installed in the center of the field of the Vila Belmiro Stadium of Santos FC, the place chosen as a wake to pay tribute to the mythical ’10’, passed away last Thursday at the age of 82.
The body of ‘O Rei’ rests on the green from the stadium where he spent most of his sports career before hanging up his boots in the North American NY Cosmos. The funeral procession carrying the coffin of the former soccer player, considered by many to be the best player in history, arrived at the venue around 4 in the morning (local time) on Monday.
The funeral, with the coffin open, began five minutes late with respect to the scheduled time, with the opening of doors to the thousands of fans who wanted to say their last goodbye to the three-time world champion.
Before, Edinho, Pele’s sonand the former player Ze Roberto They carried the coffin, helped by Santos personnel, to a tent located in the center of the field, a space that is reserved for family members.
A second tentlocated in parallel, on the line of the big area, is dedicated to the authorities of the world of soccer and politics.
The tens of thousands of fans who wanted to say a last goodbye to Pelé entered through a side door and approached the coffin through a walkway located a few meters from the main tent, while a samba song called the stadium’s public address system was heard. “I am Pele“(I am Pelé), performed by the former player.
Fans will have 24 hoursuntil 10 a.m. on Tuesday, to watch over Peléat which time 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 several areas of the city, including the house where the mother of the ill-fated ex-soccer player lives, Celeste Arantes, 100 years old, and will go to the cEcumenical Necropolis Memorial Cemeterywhere he will be buried in a private ceremony reserved only for family members.
His final resting place will be in a ‘vertical graveyard’, a 14-story building that includes 14,000 vaults, a waterfall and a car museum.