The body of soccer legend Pele has been taken to the stadium where he played as a boy, as part of an emotional memorial service that attracted thousands of mourners.
The coffin containing his body had been draped in the green, red and yellow colors of Brazil, with Pele’s No. 10 jersey displayed next to a copy of his 1977 autobiography during Monday’s wake at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo. His son Edinho wasn’t present because he remains in prison on drug trafficking charges and is due for release this month.
Friends and former teammates of soccer legend Pele joined thousands of Brazilian mourners for a wake in front of a coffin carrying the three-time World Cup winner’s body at the end of an emotional memorial service.
While Pele’s son, Edinho, didn’t attend Monday’s funeral, he was expected to see his father’s body Tuesday before it is cremated and returned to Brazil in time for a private funeral that will be kept secret from fans and well-wishers who were invited to pay tribute during the memorial service.
Pele Mourned by Brazil
The wake began with music playing from speakers outside Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where Pele won two of his three World Cups with Brazil. The Samba tune “A Flor do Cerrado” was followed by “Sampa” by singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil — who also sang during Sunday’s ceremony at Arena Corinthians stadium — then another samba song called “Amigo fiel.”
The coffin was draped in the green, red and yellow colors of Brazil, with Pele’s No. 10 jersey displayed next to a copy of his 1977 autobiography. His son, Edinho, a former goal keeper who has been in prison for drug trafficking since 2018, was not present.
Nearly two decades after his last game as a player at the age of 47 years old, Pele continues to be immortalized by fans worldwide as one of soccer’s greatest players ever.
Fans wept inside and outside Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium on Thursday as they remembered the Brazilian football legend who died aged 74 last week following several months battling illness.