Brazilians pay their last respects to Pele

BRASILIA: People from all over Brazil attended a memorial service for Pele at the Vila Belmiro stadium to pay their last respects to the country’s football legend.

The ceremony was held at the stadium which is the official ground of Santos FC, the club Pele played for most of his career.

Reportedly, thousands of fans and dignitaries in the football industry came to Villa Belmiro to pay their last respects to Pele who was also nicknamed “O Rei” or the King.

The deceased’s coffin was placed in the middle of the field to allow his fans to pay their respects during the 24 hours before the parade in the streets around Santos.

Pele’s coffin was draped in Santos and Brazil flags in addition to being decorated with white flowers including a bouquet from soccer star Neymar.

Reportedly, a two kilometer long queue was seen outside the Vila Belmiro Stadium.

In fact, most of the people in attendance wore Santos’ black and white jersey, popularized by Pele around the world.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva presided over a commemorative ceremony as the country’s people paid their last respects to the greatest player of all time.

Pele died at the age of 82 from cancer.

Tributes began today until tomorrow and the football legend’s coffin was later paraded past the home of Pele’s 100-year-old mother, Celeste.

From there, Pela’s coffin will be taken to the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica which will be attended by family members and close friends.

Pele will be buried in the highest burial ground with a height of 14 floors. – AFP/AGENCIES

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