(CMR) Thousands of mourners lined up to pay their final respects to Brazil's football legend Pelé (82) in a solemn procession past his coffin at the Vila Belmiro Stadium in his hometown of Santos on Monday. The three-time World Cup winner Edson Arantes do Nascimento, globally known as Pelé, died Thursday after a battle with cancer.
Pelé’s coffin was placed on the field where he scored some of his best goals. Mourners walked past his casket in the midfield area of the 16,000-seat stadium outside Sao Paulo. A Catholic Mass will be celebrated there Tuesday morning before his burial at a nearby cemetery, according to AP.
People decked out in #10 jerseys and clad in yellow and green attire lined up to get a glimpse of the former footballer's coffin at Urbano Caldeira Stadium
The stands were filled with bouquets of flowers placed by mourners and sent by clubs and star players as loudspeakers played a song named “Eu sou Pelé” (“I am Pelé”) that the Brazilian himself recorded.
Among fans was FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who told journalists that every country should name a stadium after Pelé, AP reported.
“I am here with a lot of emotion, sadness, but also with a smile because he gave us so many smiles. As FIFA, we will pay a tribute to the ‘King’ and we ask the whole world to observe a minute of silence,” Infantino said.
Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes told AP, “It is a very sad moment, but we are now seeing the real meaning of this legendary player to our country. My office has shirts signed by Pelé, a picture of him as a goalkeeper, also signed by him. DVDs, photos, a big collection of him.”
Funeral services are being held on Monday and Tuesday, with Pelé’s casket to be ushered through the streets of Santos before his burial on Tuesday.