Pelé’s death shocked the world of sport in general and football in particular.
The man who won more World Cups than any male player in the history of the sport died on December 29 at the age of 82 after suffering from colon cancer, and the preparations of his funeral began immediately. As Pelé’s health deteriorated for some time, plans for his funeral were made in advance.
Pelé will be remembered in a public ceremony at the stadium he made famous decades ago, then he will be laid to rest a day later in a private ceremony.
The Brazilian superstar is the only man in football history to win three World Cup titles.
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When is Pelé’s funeral?
Pelé’s funeral will take place on Monday, January 2, during the wake. He will be buried on Tuesday January 3, when his body will be interred in a private cemetery.
The place chosen to publicly pay tribute to the Brazilian star is the stadium where he began to enter the legend: Vila Belmiro de Santos, the homeland of Santos. The Sao Paulo club is the only team whose shirt he wore in his country of origin and where he himself had asked to be buried.
The video was posted on social media of workers setting up a tent on the grounds of Santos. No information has yet been released on how to watch the funeral, but it is expected to be televised by many local and global news outlets.
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Pelé’s funeral has been postponed a few days after his death because on Sunday, January 1, Lula Da Silva will assume the presidency of the country. Pele deserved his own time in the spotlight and the president didn’t want to take that attention away.
What will Pelé’s funeral be like?
Pele’s funeral will see the former footballer’s body laid to rest in the center of the Santos pitch, where a tent has already been placed. His body will remain there for 24 hours, as fans will be allowed to pay their respects.
As happened in the wake of Diego Maradona or other great personalities, such as Queen Elizabeth II, participants will not be able to touch the body and they will not even be able to stop, because the line must be in constant movement.
From there, his body will be exhibited in the streets of the neighborhood to the house of Céleste Arantes, the mother of Pelé, who is 100 years old and in no condition to leave her home.
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The cemetery where Pelé will rest: the highest in the world
Finally, Pelé’s remains will be buried at the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica (Memorial of the Ecumenical Necropolis), a cemetery that is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the tallest in the world: it reaches 32 stories and is a tourist attraction in Santos.
Only the legend’s closest relatives will be allowed in the burial, as it will be a private ceremony for those closest to the man.
A plot in the cemetery can cost anywhere from $6,000 to just over $20,000 for just three years of “letting”, although there are more exclusive areas, such as for entire families, the price of which can go up to over $50,000.
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Brazil declares three days of mourning for Pelé’s death
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who left office on Sunday January 1, declared three days of mourning on Friday following the death of Pelé. The three days started on Saturday December 31st and will continue until Monday January 2nd.
Bolsonaro said in a statement that Pelé was “a great citizen and patriot, raising the name of Brazil wherever he went.”
Premier League clubs will hold a minute of applause during Matchweek 18 in honor of Pelé, while players and officials will wear black armbands as a mark of respect. FIFA also lowered all flags at its Zurich headquarters to half staff following Pele’s death.