Chants, tears and firetrucks: Santos offers one final goodbye to Pelé

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By Euronews  with AFP
The remains of late Brazilian soccer great Pele are transported on a firetruck from Vila Belmiro stadium to the cemetery during his funeral procession in Santos, Brazil
The remains of late Brazilian soccer great Pele are transported on a firetruck from Vila Belmiro stadium to the cemetery during his funeral procession in Santos, Brazil   -   Copyright  Andre Penner/AP

An estimated 230,000 people came to the Vila Belmiro stadium to say one final goodbye to the late footballer Pelé. After a 24-hour wake ended on Tuesday, his body made one final journey through the town of Santos. 

A firetruck transported his coffin with throngs of grieving Brazilians lining the streets and faring farewell. The funeral procession of "O Rey" (or "The King"), then made a stop at his mother's house, who is still alive at 100- years-old.

Pelé passed away last Thursday at the age of 82, after battling colon cancer since 2021. His death caused great shock and sorrow across the country and around the world.

Among those paying their respects was Brazil's new president Lula, who was seen comforting Pelé's wife Marcia Aoki. His death was marked by the government with a three-day period of national mourning.

After a private ceremony with family, the man held to be the world's greatest footballer will be laid to rest, on the 9th floor of the vertical cemetery of Santos, with a direct view of Santos' stadium in sight.