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Fireworks salute Pelé’s coffin as Brazil bids farewell to the legend

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Club Santos

The body of the Brazilian soccer legend, Pelé, was transferred yesterday from the hospital where he died to the stadium of his former Club Santos.

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Pelé’s wake was held yesterday at the Santos Fútbol Club, where his coffin was placed in the center of the field for the public to pay tribute to him.

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Pele, who won three World Cup titles for Brazil, the only player to do so, died at the age of 82 in Sao Paulo on Thursday, December 29, 2022.

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The team’s seaside home nicknamed ‘Peixe’ – ‘fish’ in Portuguese, witnessed a large influx of fans seeking to honor the ‘King’ of football.

The gates of the stadium opened at 10:00 local time (13:00 GMT), with the coffin with the remains of Pelé exposed in the center of the field.

Known as Vila Belmiro after the neighborhood where it is located, the black and white stadium has a capacity for 16,000 people.

Three giant flags could be seen in the stands on Sunday, one with an image of Pelé wearing the famous number 10 on his shirt.

Another carried the message ‘Long live the king’; the third said simply, ‘Pele 82 years old.

‘ Entrance to the stadium will be allowed until 10:00 am today, authorities said.

After that, a procession was held through the streets of Santos, a port city about 75 kilometers (47 miles) from the state capital of Sao Paulo.

The parade passed the home of Pelé’s mother, Celeste Arantes, 100, who is unaware that her world-famous son has died.

“She doesn’t know,” Pele’s sister, Maria Lucia do Nascimento, told ESPN.

“She’s not conscious.

The procession will end at a Santos cemetery, where Pelé will be buried in a special mausoleum.

His death sparked a worldwide outpouring of tributes, with his native Brazil celebrating three days of national mourning.

Pelé scored 1,283 goals in a 21-year career, most of them played for Santos.

The flower crowns left by his fans have given a touch of color to Vila Belmiro, which houses a bust and a statue of the soccer great.

Military police in Sao Paulo state, where digital screens on the streets also honor the prolific striker, said there would be a “robust” display for posthumous tributes.

Born on October 23, 1940, Pele grew up selling peanuts on the street to help his impoverished family.

He got the famous nickname from him after mispronouncing Bile, the name of a goalkeeper at Vasco de Sao Lourenco, where his father once played as a soccer player.

Pelé burst onto the scene at the age of 15, when he began playing professionally for Santos.

At just 17 years old, he helped Brazil win its first World Cup, in 1958.

That was followed by World Cup titles in 1962 and 1970.

He remained active on social media, cheering for Brazil during the World Cup in Qatar and consoling the pre-champions.

tournament favorites when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals just three weeks before his death.

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