Brazilian soccer legend Pele was buried on Tuesday as his nation of greater than 200 million individuals watched.
Newly put in President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva paid his respects at Villa Belmiro, the stadium the place Pelé performed most of his profession.
Pele is buried within the metropolis the place he grew up, grew to become well-known and helped make it the world capital of his sport.
Mass is well known on the Vila Belmiro stadium earlier than the casket is delivered by the streets of Santos to a close-by cemetery.
Giovanna Sarmiento, 17, waited within the three-hour line to see Pele’s physique because it lay there. She got here together with her father who was sporting a Brazilian jersey named Pele.
She stated, “I am not a Santos fan, neither is my dad. However this man invented the Brazil nationwide group. He made Santos stronger, he made it large, how will you not respect him? He is one of many biggest individuals ever, we wanted to honor him.”
Caio Zalk, 35, an engineer, wore a Brazil jersey as he waited in line. “Pele is an important Brazilian of all time. He made the game essential to Brazil and made Brazil essential to the world,” he stated.
Within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, Pele was maybe essentially the most well-known athlete on this planet.
He met presidents and queens, and in Nigeria, a civil struggle was suspended to look at him play.
Many Brazilians credit score him with placing the nation on the world stage for the primary time.
Rows of shirts with Pele’s No. 10 have been laid behind one of many targets, waving within the metropolis’s summer season wind. A piece of the stands was crammed with bouquets of flowers laid out by mourners and despatched by golf equipment and stars – Neymar And the Cristiano Ronaldo Amongst them – from all around the world as audio system performed a tune of the identical identify EU Sue Pele (“I’m Pele”) which was recorded by Pele himself.
The gang was largely locals, though some got here from distant. Lots of the mourners have been too younger to have watched Pele play.
It was calm, individuals got here out of the stadium and into the native bars, sporting the Santos Soccer Membership and Brazil shirts.
Claudio Karanka, a 32-year-old gross sales consultant, stated: “I’ve by no means seen him play, however the love for Pele is a convention handed down from father to son at Santos. I’ve realized his historical past, I’ve seen his targets, I see how essential he’s to Santos FC as a result of he is essential. I do know some “Santos followers have youngsters who help different groups, however that is simply because they’ve by no means seen Pele. In the event that they did, they’d really feel this gratitude that I really feel now.”
Amongst these current on the stadium was Pele’s finest good friend, Manuel Maria, additionally a former Santos participant.
“If I had all of the riches on this planet,” stated Maria, “I might by no means be capable to repay what this man did to me and my household.” “He was as nice a person as he was as a participant; the very best of all time. His legacy will outlive all of us. And that may be seen on this lengthy line with individuals of all ages right here.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino informed reporters that each nation ought to identify a stadium after Pele.
“I’m right here with loads of emotion and unhappiness, but additionally with a smile as a result of he has given us so many smiles. As FIFA, we can pay tribute to the King and ask the entire world to watch a minute of silence,” stated Infantino.
Brazilian Supreme Courtroom Justice Gilmar Mendes was one other fan and good friend of the 2.
Mendes informed reporters, “It is a very unhappy second, however now we see the true that means of this legendary participant for our nation. My desk has shirts signed by Pele, an image of him as a goalkeeper, additionally signed by him. A DVD, photos, a complete lot of him.”
Pele has undergone colon most cancers remedy since 2021.
The medical middle the place he was admitted to the hospital stated he died of a number of organ failure because of most cancers.
Pele led Brazil to World Cup wins in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and stays one of many group’s all-time high scorers with 77 targets.
Neymar equaled Pele’s file through the World Cup in Qatar this yr.