The Brazilians said goodbye to a legend. This Tuesday, January 3, the coffin of “King” Pelé, who died last Thursday at the age of 82, carried out a procession of nearly four hours through the streets of Santos, the city where the former footballer spent most of of its career, and located 75 km from Sao Paulo. The body of the triple world champion then arrived at the vertical cemetery of Santos, where the funeral reserved for the family will take place.

Pelé’s coffin was first laid out for 24 hours in the center of the field at Santos FC’s Vila Belmiro stadium, where the Brazilian striker shone from 1956 to 1974. Removed from the stadium in a buggy, the coffin was then hoisted on top of a fire engine, before marching through the streets of the city where thousands of supporters had gathered.

Pelé’s sister very moved at the passage of her brother’s coffin

But perhaps the most poignant moment is when the motorcade passed the house of Pelé’s mother, Celeste Arantes. Aged 100 but suffering from cognitive impairment, she did not know that her son had died. But according to a reporter from the Daily Mirror, she finally went to the funeral wake at the Santos stadium to say goodbye to Pelé.

During its passage, the truck carrying the football legend’s coffin stopped for a few minutes in front of the family home where a large green flag bearing the image of Pelé had been hung. Pele’s 78-year-old sister, Maria Lucia, notably appeared on the balcony, along with other family members. Moved to tears, she greeted the supporters massed in front of the house for a long time, and even formed a heart with her fingers to thank them. A heartbreaking moment.

Pelé's funeral: moved to tears, his sister makes a moving gesture to the crowd from her balcony

Maria Lucia (sister of Pelé) © Backgrid USA

Maria T.
Maria T.

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