Pele’s coffin arrives at Santos stadium for legend’s funeral as fans queue up in thousands to pay respects

Pele’s coffin arrives at Santos stadium for legend’s funeral as fans queue up in thousands to pay respects

The coffin of Brazilian football icon Pele arrived at the home of Santos on Monday ahead of his funeral.

Last week, the three-time World Cup winner died at the age of 82 following a long battle with colon cancer.

Fans began queuing to enter the Vila Belmiro Stadium, which holds a capacity of 16,000, in the early hours of the morning.

The venue, just outside of Sao Paulo, is the home of Santos, for whom Pele scored a large portion of his 1,000-plus career goals.

The legend’s coffin arrived on Monday morning and was placed under a large canopy for the open casket ceremony. Walkways on either side of the tent allowed fans to walk past Pele’s coffin and pay their respects.

A large display, reading ‘Viva King Pele’ has been set up on one side of the stadium along with an illustration of the Brazilian.

Pele’s final burial place will be a nearby cemetery after a ceremony on Tuesday. His coffin will be paraded through the city streets following his funeral.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

The ‘vertical cemetery’ overlooking the Vila Belmiro Stadium is 14 stories tall and he will be placed on the ninth floor, which has a view of the pitch.

Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and FIFA president Gianni Infantino are among the dignitaries expected to attend the funeral.

Published by anthonyhayble

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