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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Brazil bids farewell to beloved soccer star Pele

Young and old embraced as the funeral procession wound its way through the streets of Santos for hours

Reuters Published 04.01.23, 05:58 AM
Pele

Pele File Photo

Emotional crowds bid Brazil soccer legend Pele a final farewell on Tuesday, lining the streets of Santos to watch his coffin taken to its final resting place from the city's stadium where 230,000 mourners had filed past his open casket.

Young and old embraced as the funeral procession wound its way through the coastal city's streets for hours, with some fans in tears and others cheering and drumming for a national hero who rose from barefoot poverty to become one of the greatest and best-known athletes in modern history.

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"It's an irreparable loss for Brazil," said Brazil's newly sworn-in President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. "Pele, in addition to being the best soccer player in the world, was a humble, simple man."

Pele died last week at the age of 82 after battling colon cancer for a year. He was laid to rest at the city's Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis, a 14-storey vertical cemetery with views of the soccer field in Santos that made him a star.

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