Brazil’s Legend Pele Receives Joyous Sendoff at Funeral -Off

Tuesday’s funeral procession was of carnivalesque proportions in comparison to Monday’s wake for Brazilian football star Pele, which was a day of reflection.

The 82-year-old, who many considered to be the best football player in the world, passed away on December 29.

On Monday, his casket arrived in Santos, where thousands of mourners paid their respects at the site of his former club, some of whom stood in line all night.

The Torcida Jovem fan group gathered outside the Urbano Caldeira stadium on Tuesday before the coffin left. The Santos Football Club’s colors, large black and white banners, were hoisted by supporters. Many others wore the No. 10 t-shirt that Pele made so well-known.

They kept chanting, “Only Pele, 1,000 goals,” while people danced and beat drums in the street.

Helicopters flew overhead as his body was subsequently followed for seven kilometers through Santos’s streets. As is customary in official parades, his coffin was transported on a fire engine.

It passed the home of Pele’s mother, who turned 100 last year, as it traveled along the seafront. There, a relative requested a moment of silence, and the celebration atmosphere instantly fell silent as Doa Celeste knelt down and prayed.

The bustling coastal city of Santos has been put on hold these last days.

Marcia Simes, who was waiting by the road leading to Pele’s burial location with her sons Mario and Eduardo, stated, “He was significant for the whole world, for young people too. I’m more proud than ever to be a Santos native.

He was the best of Brazil, a sentiment shared by a large number of mourners.

Thiago Silva, one of the last in line before the wake concluded, remarked that “everyone in Brazil aspires to be a football player to imitate him.” Naturally, no one can.

Sandra Garcia, who attended accompanying Enzo, 11, explained, “My father was a Pele lover. “I became really emotional when I thought about my father; if he were still alive, he undoubtedly would have been in this room sobbing. It’s crucial that I’m here because I grew up extolling Pele, talking about him, and sharing stories about him.

Pele was a strong influence even on someone as young as Enzo.

Without a certain, he outperforms Cristiano Ronaldo by a wide margin, the man remarked. He has been the best player ever for many years.

Pele brought Brazilians together by serving as their spokesperson outside of football. People in a politically and economically divided nation have only positive things to say about him.

The same could not be said of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the nation’s newly elected third-term president, who merely started office this week. Shortly before the wake concluded, he arrived to pay his respects, to loud applause and cries that he ought to be imprisoned.

2019 saw President Lula’s release from prison after serving 18 months for corruption. In 2021, his convictions were overturned.

Many people have found relief in the coming together of a nation in pain after the recent stormy months following the presidential elections.

“Pele united all of us,” said Deofilo de Freitas, waiting in the queue. He was the first one in the line on Monday but wanted another chance to see his idol before he was laid to rest. “Not only was he the best player in the world, he was a marvellous human being.”

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