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Montevideo, April 21st 2024 - 08:40 UTC



Lula attends Pelé's wake

Tuesday, January 3rd 2023 - 20:04 UTC
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President Lula paid his respects to “King” Pelé President Lula paid his respects to “King” Pelé

One of the main events Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva had to participate only two days after his inauguration was the wake of former football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento: Pelé.

Lula, 77, showed up at Santos' Vila Belmiro stadium to bid farewell to 'O Rei' Pelé, who was to be buried later Tuesday after a funeral procession through the city.

The leftwing ruler stayed at the club where Pelé rose to stardom for about half an hour for the religious ceremonies. Dressed in a dark suit and accompanied by First Lady Rosângela “Janja” Da Silva, the former union leader exchanged a few words with Pelé's widow, Marcia Aoki.

A Catholic ceremony then began. A priest said a prayer that Pele's soul would “suffer nothing” and set course for “immortal life in the eternal kingdom.” “Lord, give him happiness, light, and peace,” the priest also said.

“Death comes for everyone, for kings too,” Lula said. He was one of the last conspicuous personalities to pay his condolences to Pelé's family.

Former Brazilian international and Santos player Zé Roberto, who participated in the 1998 and 2006 World Cups, was one of the few celebrity players to attend the funeral. He even carried the coffin to place it in the center of the Vila Belmiro stadium in the city of Santos, where the 24-hour wake was held.

Also present was Mauro Silva, now vice-president of the Paulista Football Federation (FPF), and Paulo Roberto Falcao, who, in addition to playing in the 1982 World Cup, coached Pelé in a friendly match in 1990, when Pelé had already been retired for 16 years.

Also paraded before the coffin was a delegation of the Santos squad, the club's entire U-20 team, as well as old glories of the team, among them Careca, Elano, Serginho Chulapa, and Clodoaldo.

None of Pele's teammates from the 1970 World Cup, nor the champions of the 1994 or 2002 editions were present. Romário and Ronaldo sent wreaths of flowers, as did Brazilian First Division clubs.

Current Brazil # 10 jersey bearer Neymar of France's PSG, stayed in Paris and asked his father to represent him at the wake. Other Brazilian players, active or retired, preferred to pay tribute to the three-time world champion through countless messages on social media and through statements to the press.

Kaká, the last Brazilian to win the Ballon d'Or award, said in an interview with British television a few weeks ago that “we Brazilians sometimes don't recognize talent.”

“If you see how they treat Ronaldo, it's something different than abroad. He's just a fat man walking down the street,” he said.

Around 230,000 people walked past Pelé's open coffin on the Vila Belmiro lawn.

Pelé passed away aged 82 last Thursday at the age of 82, due to complications resulting from the colon cancer he had been fighting since 2021. He remains the only player to have won three World Cups: Sweden 1958, Chile 1962, and Mexico 1970.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, Entertainment.

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