Preparations for Pele’s burial in the city he made a footballing mecca

SportsFootballPreparations for Pele's burial in the city he made a footballing mecca
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45 years after Pelé played his last match, it is difficult to imagine modern football or Brazil without him.

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Seventeen-year-old Giovanna Sarmento waited three hours to see Pele’s body, which is kept at the stadium where he played for most of his career. She was accompanied by her father, who was wearing a Brazilian T-shirt bearing the name of Pele.

Giovanna said, “I am not a fan of Santos and neither is my father. But this man gave a new identity to the Brazilian national team. He made Santos strong, he made it big, how can you not respect him? He is one of the greatest people of all time, we need to respect him.

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Pele will be buried on Tuesday in the city where he grew up, rose to fame and helped make it the world capital of football. A Catholic Mass will be held at the Villa Belmiro stadium before Pelé’s body is taken in a coffin to the cemetery.

Brazil’s newly elected President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to arrive at Vila Belmiro shortly before the casket is removed from the stadium.

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Pele died on Thursday at the age of 82 after a battle with cancer. He was the only player to win three World Cups.

Thousands of mourners, including high school students and Supreme Court justices, visited Pele’s body on Monday. Pele’s coffin is placed in the midfield area of ​​Vila Belmiro, draped in the flag of Brazil and Santos FC football club.

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