The funeral of Brazil legend Pelé will take place today at the home of his former club Santos, after the World Cup winner died at the age of 82, and President Jair Bolsonaro declared three days of mourning after the news.
Pelé, world champion in 1958, 1962 and 1970, had been treated for colon cancer in recent years.
He passed away Thursday at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, and tributes have poured in from across the soccer world.
The striker played most of his career at Santos in his homeland, scoring more than 600 goals for the Brazilian side.
There, fans will be able to pay their respects to Brazil’s all-time top scorer.
“The body of the best soccer player of all time will be buried in the Estádio Urbano Caldeira, in Vila Belmiro, where he enchanted the world,” read a statement from Santos.
“The body will go directly from the Albert Einstein Hospital to the Stadium at dawn on Monday (today) and the coffin will be placed in the center of the pitch.
The public wake is expected to begin at 10 am The club shared details of how the public and the press can pay their tributes, while also sharing information about a private burial, reserved for Pelé’s relatives.
The ceremony is expected to continue until tomorrow morning, with a parade through the streets of Santos.
“Santos FC deeply regrets the death of the greatest footballer of all time, the man who brought the name of Alvinegro Praiano to the world, our greatest idol, who immortalized the number 10 shirt and turned it into a work of art,” the club said.
had previously announced on Thursday.
“Any tribute is small compared to the greatness of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, our eternal King Pelé.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940 in Três Corações, Brazil—died on December 29, 2022 in São Paolo, Brazil).
The Brazilian soccer player, in his time, probably the most famous and possibly the highest paid athlete in the world.
He was part of the Brazilian teams that won three world championships (1958, 1962 and 1970).
After playing for a minor league club in Bauru, São Paulo state, Pelé (whose nickname apparently has no meaning) was turned down by major club teams in the city of São Paulo.
In 1956, however, he joined the Santos Football Club, which, with Pelé as left inside forward, won nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, both the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Club Cup. Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), he became a Brazilian national hero.
He combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.
After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to prevent big offers from European clubs and to ensure that he would remain in Brazil.
On November 19, 1969, in his 909th Primera match, he scored his 1,000th goal.
Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and the following year he played his first game in the World Cup final in Sweden.
The Brazilian coach was initially hesitant to play the young star of him.
When Pelé finally arrived on the pitch, he made an immediate impact, shaking