This week, Brazilian said their final goodbyes to the legendary football player Pele. The week began on Monday with a public wake that lasted for 24 hours at the stadium where his long-time side, Santos, played.
The coastal stadium that is home to the team known as “Peixe,” which translates to “fish” in Portuguese, is bracing for a massive inflow of supporters who want to pay their respects to the “King” of football, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 82 following a protracted battle with cancer.
The gates of the stadium are scheduled to open at 10:00 am local time (1300 GMT). The casket that holds the remains of the only player to have ever won three World Cups will be placed in the middle of the playing field during the ceremony.
The stadium in black and white can hold a maximum of 16,000 people and gets its name from the district in which it is situated, which is called Vila Belmiro.
On Sunday, there were three enormous flags flying from the stands, one of which had an image of Pele wearing the legendary number 10 on his jersey.
Another one of them had the inscription “Long live the king,” while the third one simply wrote “Pele 82 years.”
According to the officials, spectators will be permitted into the stadium until 10:00 am on Tuesday.
Following that, there will be a procession held through the streets of Santos, which is a port city located around 75 kilometres (47 miles) from the capital of the state, Sao Paulo.
The home of Pele’s mother, Celeste Arantes, who is currently 100 years old and does not know that her internationally renowned son has passed away, will be passed by during the march.
Maria Lucia do Nascimento, Pele’s sister, told ESPN on Friday that her sister was unaware of the situation. “She is not aware of her surroundings.”
Pele will be laid to rest in a unique mausoleum at the conclusion of the procession, which will take place at a cemetery in Santos.
Pele, whose birth name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as the greatest player to have ever participated in the “beautiful game.”
His passing prompted a flood of condolences from people all around the world, and his home country of Brazil observed three days of national mourning in his honour.
He had a career that spanned 21 years and scored 1,283 goals, the majority of which were achieved while he was playing for Santos.
Vila Belmiro, which is home to a bust and a statue of the football great, has received a splash of colour thanks to floral wreaths that have been put there by his supporters.
In spite of the fact that he will not be able to make it to the official ceremony, Silvio Neves Souza, an electrician who is currently on vacation from Sao Paulo, decided to pay a visit to the stadium on Sunday.
The individual, who was 54 years old, was quoted as saying, “I’m sure a lot of people will come to the wake, not just old people who saw him perform, but also young people.”
Banners depicting Pele’s face can also be found elsewhere in the city, adorning a monument that was also constructed in his likeness.
On one of the signs, the inscription read, “I adored the world with the ball at my feet.”
The phrase “forever” is printed on a massive poster that is displayed at the offices of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro. The poster features an image of Pele.
Pele was remembered with a moment of sadness at the beginning of Sunday’s inauguration ceremony for Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as President of Brazil. The ceremony began with the observance of one minute of silence.
There will be a “strong” deployment of military police in the state of Sao Paulo for the posthumous honours, according to the military police in Sao Paulo state, where digital public screens will also pay respect to the prolific scorer.
At the Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, there will be an increased presence of security personnel in advance of the anticipated arrival of large crowds of athletes, politicians, dignitaries, and fans for the wake.