Tributes continue to pour from all over the world following the passing of football icon. The 82-year-old was widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and a three-time World Cup winner who masterminded the “beautiful game”.
After battling cancer, he died on Thursday (Dec. 29) at the Albert Einstein hospital (Sao Paulo).
Santos, the club where Pelé played in Brazil, said in a statement the public will be able to pay their final respects at Vila Belmiro Stadium, outside Sao Paulo.
The stadium where Pelé played some of the best matches of his career will also hold his funeral on Monday and Tuesday.
Following the news of the player’s passing, fans gathered outside the hospital to pay their respects to the legendary player. Some brought banners that read ‘Eternal King Pelé’
Some cried and some others showed their own skills dressed in the yellow and green uniform that HE made so famous.
“To me, Brazil loses its history, a legend. It’s very sad,” Marcio Pereira Da Silva says. “We lost the world cup and now our king of football. But, life moves on, there’s nothing we can do, it’s in God’s hand.”
“Football will have to go on, it cannot stop,” fan Marcolino Olimpio De Oliveira says. “His (Pelé’s) memory continues. Pelé didn’t die, Edson died, Pelé is still alive, for us here, for everyone, he is still alive, he is eternal, he is immortal.”
The coffin carrying the three-time World Cup champion will leave Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo early Monday morning and will be placed in the center circle of the field.
Visitation will start Monday at 10 a.m. and finish the next day at the same time.
Pelé’s casket will be carried through the streets of Santos and will pass in front of the home of his 100-year-old mother, Celeste. Recent reports in Brazilian media say Pelé’s mother cannot leave her bed and is not lucid.
The burial will take place at the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, a vertical cemetery in Santos. Only family will attend.
With his big smile and warming attitude Pelé – was adored not only by his fans at home, and around the world.
Treated like royalty wherever he went, the king was arguably the best-loved footballer of his or any other generation.