- BBC News World
On a day of mourning and commemoration, tens of thousands of fans bid farewell to what many consider to be the greatest soccer player in history, King Pelé, who died on December 29 at the age of 82.
The funeral in the stadium of his lifelong club, Santos, was attended by the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, who accompanied Edinho, son of the legendary soccer player, and other relatives .
The fan tribute
By Katy Watson, BBC South America correspondent, from Santos
Pelé’s coffin was paraded through the streets of Santos in a fire truck, as is the tradition in Brazil, while fans accompanied the procession chanting “Pelé, a thousand goals.”
Hundreds of people carried banners and wore jerseys with the number 10 that the footballer made so popular.
It was a day of mourning for the man Brazilians call the king, but clearly it was also a time to celebrate his life.
There was joy in the streets in a demonstration that Pelé is, and always will be, the greatest source of pride for Brazil.
Deofilo de Freitas was first in line at the stadium on Monday, but wanted another chance to see his idol before the funeral.
“Pelé was the Pelé of the people, he was one of us,” he said. “It will be hard to find someone like him.”
“In addition to being the best player in the world, he was a wonderful human being,” he emphasized.
The Santos club, where Pelé spent most of his career, tweeted: “Our eternal King Pelé says goodbye in Vila Belmiro, his home, with his people.”
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