Thousands of fans queue for hours to pay their last respects to king of football

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By Euronews
Fans queue for hours for last goodbyes to Pelé in Santos, Brazil.
Fans queue for hours for last goodbyes to Pelé in Santos, Brazil.   -   Copyright  Matias Delacroix/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Thousands of people queued to enter the ground of Pelé's former club Santos in order to pay their respects to the world-famous player. The Brazilian icon died last week aged 82.

Monday marked the end of three days of state mourning for the football hero - later on Tuesday there will be a procession through the streets of Santos to a private family burial.

Ordinary Brazilians waited in file for hours to be able to say their good bye.

Neymar Santos Sr., the father another football global star, Neymar, kissed Pele's forehead. He was accompanied by Pele's son Edinho.

“Today is very emotional, very sad, to lose the King but happy for what he has done for our city, for Brazil and for the world,” Silvia de Abreu Souza, a Pelé fan said from the queue to get into the Vila Belmiro grounds.

Another fan, Ralf Jorge Rosa, thinks Pelé was a great example to be followed, "What can I say? It's hard to explain. A global figure, he represents everyone, unites everyone, unites clubs, no rivalries. That's what's great about him, what we are missing today."

The queues went on long into the night. Fans had 24 hours to pay their last respects to the king of football. 

Pelé was the only player in history who was able to win the World Cup three times. 

Watch the video in the player above.