Pele funeral to be held at Santos stadium on Monday and Tuesday

Vila Belmiro Stadium will welcome visitors from Monday 10am local time until Tuesday at the same time

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Pele's funeral will take place inside the Santos stadium on Monday and Tuesday, the Brazilian club said, when fans will be able to pay their final respects to the football legend.

Pele, whose full name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, died Thursday at the age of 82 after a long battle with cancer, sparking an outpouring of tributes from around the world.

Santos, the club where Pele played in Brazil, said in a statement the public will be able to pay their respects at Vila Belmiro Stadium, outside Sao Paulo.

Santos said the coffin carrying the three-time World Cup champion will leave Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo early Monday morning and will be placed in the centre circle of the field.

Visitation will start Monday at 10am local time and finish the next day at the same time.

Pele’s casket will be carried through the streets of Santos and will pass in front of the home of his 100-year-old mother, Celeste. Recent reports in Brazilian media say Pele’s mother cannot leave her bed and is not lucid.

The burial will take place at the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, a vertical cemetery in Santos. Only family will attend.

Pele has a home in Santos, where he lived most of his life. He spent his last years in the city of Guaruja.

Pele had a colon tumour removed in September 2021. Neither his family nor the hospital have said whether it had spread to other organs. He returned to the Albert Einstein hospital on November 29 with Covid-19 and a respiratory infection.

Pele's career - in pictures

Last week, the hospital said in a statement his cancer had advanced.

Pele led Brazil to World Cup victory in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and remains one of the team’s all-time leading scorers with 77 goals. Neymar tied Pele’s record during this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

He passed away peacefully on Thursday, a statement posted to his social media accounts confirmed.

Pele "enchanted the world with his genius in sport, stopped a war, carried out social works all over the world and spread what he most believed to be the cure for all our problems: love," read a post on his Instagram account.

Pele's funeral will take place at Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos. AFP

"His message today becomes a legacy for future generations."

The former striker, who also played for New York Cosmos, burst on to the global scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes.

Injury affected his contribution to the 1962 and 1966 finals, but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest international team of all time.

Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977.

Updated: December 30, 2022, 8:26 AM
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