Brazil and the rest of the football world said their final goodbyes to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, more commonly known as Pele, during an emotional ceremony in Santos.
Football fans wept and waved goodbye to ‘the King’ at Pele’s funeral in Santos.
However, the Brazilian’s condition gradually got worse and worse, until he passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family members, just after Christmas. Pele was certainly given a send off fitting for a player of his prestige, skill, and beauty.
Thousands of football fans waited to say their farewells to the legendary forward.
Many fans struggled to hold back the tears while many wept for some time as Pele was brought from Urbano Caldeira Stadium home ground through to the streets of Santos.
The iconic yellow and green colours of Brazil, whether it was flags or football shirts, permeated the capacity crowd. One supporter even proudly showed off a tattoo of the legendary player wearing a crown on top of his head.
Pele was hailed as the King by the thousands of supporters present. Brazilian president Lula da Silva was also in attendance for Pele’s final journey.
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However, the newly elected leader of Brazil was heavily booed and castigated by the Santos crowd, with many labelling him a ‘thief’ while others shouted ‘you should be in prison’. While the country may be heavily divided politically, they all came together to say goodbye to Pele.
Reports from the Mirror understand his mother Celeste will be the final person to say goodbye to Pele at the funeral. His older sister Maria Lucia do Nascimento revealed the 100-year-old was unaware her son had passed away.
Pele scored 77 goals in 92 games, helping Brazil win three World Cups. His first international triumph was achieved at the age of 17-years-old, making him the youngest ever player to win the World Cup.
He also hammered home 643 goals in 649 games for Santos, during a golden era which saw them win two Copa Libertadores titles and two Intercontinental Cups. Official FIFA records and the Guinness Book of World Records state Pele retired having scored 1281 goals.
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