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Pelé laid to rest after procession through streets of Santos

Wednesday, January 4th 2023 - 10:05 UTC
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Only relatives and close friends were allowed at the cemetery where Pelé was buried alongside his father Dondinho Only relatives and close friends were allowed at the cemetery where Pelé was buried alongside his father Dondinho

In a private ceremony attended only by relatives and close friends, Brazil's football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to the world as Pelé, has laid to rest Tuesday afternoon at the Memorial Necropolis Ecumenical in Santos, the seaside city of São Paulo where he rose to stardom.

The burial began around 2 pm local time after the hearse (a fire engine actually) drove through the streets of Santos for about three and a half hours.

At the Memorial, Pelé's body will remain in a mausoleum on the second floor of the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis. The body of the King of Football's father, Dondinho, is buried at the same Memorial.

Over 230,000 fans paid their last respects to Pelé, whose public wake came to an end at 10 am Tuesday at Vila Belmiro, Santos' stadium. One hour before the end of the ceremony, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stopped by with First Lady Rosângela Da Silva, aka Janja, and with Ports and Airports Minister Márcio França.

Lula stood next to the body of the former player during a prayer in an area reserved for family and authorities that lasted approximately 20 minutes. The president left the stadium without talking to the press. In a message posted on Twitter, he again lamented the death of Pelé.

“The death of Pelé is an irreparable loss for Brazil. I was at Vila Belmiro today to say goodbye to our king of the ball, as the president of the Republic, but also as a citizen and admirer of the art he produced on the field. May he rest in peace,” Lula wrote on social media.

“Look, who is going to talk about Pelé now is not the president of the Republic. It's a Corinthians fan who watched many Santos games against Corinthians and saw Corinthians lose many games. And it seems to me that Pelé had an obsession with beating Corinthians, he had an obsession with beating Corinthians. So, it was a very painful 15-year period for the Corinthians fans, but there was something very important about Pelé: he made people go anywhere to watch a football match. I think Pelé symbolizes everything that is the ascension of the human species. He was a player who, very young, gained an extraordinary protagonism and the most fantastic thing is that Pelé was never masked, never stuck his nose up, he was always a humble citizen who talked on equal terms. He was very special,” Lula went on.

The procession included Coronel Joaquim Montenegro Avenue, where Celeste Arantes, Pelé's mother, aged 100, lives.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

Categories: Politics, Brazil.
Tags: Pele, Santos.

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