Shortly after being sworn in, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva plans to personally say goodbye to football legend Pelé.
The head of state wanted to personally say goodbye to the three-time world champion, the news portal “G1” reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the protocol. Accordingly, Lula will fly from the capital Brasília to Santos on Monday. He was sworn in as president on Sunday.
At the wake in FC Santos stadium on Monday, numerous fans will pay their last respects to the exceptional player. Pelé’s body will be laid out in the middle of the pitch at the Estádio Urbano Caldeira in the Vila Belmiro district from 10 a.m. (local time), according to his long-time club FC Santos. Before that, police officers and firefighters should bring him from the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo to the port city of Santos, about 80 kilometers away.
Pelé’s coffin is laid out under a pavilion in the stadium. 80 chairs were also set up there for family members and friends. The fans will be able to walk past the coffin on a catwalk about five meters away. Banners with the inscription “Long live the king” and “Pelé 82 years” and a picture of the exceptional player in the number 10 shirt were hung in the stands.
The wake is expected to last 24 hours. On Tuesday, a funeral procession will take the body through the neighborhood where Pelé’s 100-year-old mother still lives to the Memorial Necropole Ecumênica high-rise cemetery. Pelé will then be buried there with his family.
Pelé died on Thursday at the age of 82 after a long illness. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, as the striker was called by his full name, shaped football like no other. With 77 goals in 92 international matches, he is still the Seleção’s all-time record goalscorer.