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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva traveled to the city of Santos on Tuesday morning to pay his last respects to legendary footballer Pelé, who died Thursday at the age of 82. The Head of State then attended a brief religious ceremony before the departure of a funeral procession through the streets of the city, then the burial.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva paid a last tribute to Pelé on Tuesday, January 3, by praying in front of the coffin of the legendary footballer, at the Santos stadium which has seen tens of thousands of fans flock since the start of the funeral wake on Monday.
Lula, who took office on Sunday in Brasilia, arrived in Santos by helicopter and offered his condolences to Pelé’s widow arriving under the canopy where the coffin is exposed, in the stadium where the “King” shone under Santos FC shirt.
>> “Pelé is eternal”: thousands of Brazilians gathered in Santos to watch over the “king”
The head of state then attended a brief religious ceremony in front of the remains of Pelé before the departure of a funeral procession in the streets of Santos, a major port in the state of Sao Paulo, then the burial.
According to AFP journalists present on the spot, the parade of fans continued uninterruptedly all day Monday, then all night. According to TV Globo, some 150,000 people came to pay their last respects to the triple world champion.
“There are many, many people. It’s magnificent, he deserves it,” Katia Cruz, 58, a retired Santos FC fan, who stayed at the stadium until 1:30 a.m., told AFP. . But her husband, “inconsolable”, preferred to stay at home.
After waiting for the most part in long queues, admirers of Pelé from all over Brazil have been moving slowly and calmly to the big canopy since Monday morning.
>> To read: Brazil pays tribute to the king of football Pelé
At the end of this funeral wake, which will have lasted 24 hours, the funeral procession must cross Santos from 10 am (13 pm GMT) and will pass in particular in front of the house of Pelé’s mother, Celeste Arantes. Aged 100 but suffering from cognitive impairment, she is unaware of the death of her son.
The remains of Pelé will then be taken to his final resting place, a mausoleum specially erected in a cemetery, for a Catholic rite ceremony in strict family intimacy.