The world was thrown into mourning on Thursday in honour of Brazil football legend; Pele, who died on Thursday at the age of 82 at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo, after a lengthy battle with colon cancer.
As the world bids farewell to Pele considered soccer’s greatest ever by many across the world, Nigerians have also added their words to the long list of farewell messages for the man lauded as a god-like figure.
The President; Muhamadu Buhari, in a statement signed by his spokesman said, “Pele is gone but the world will never forget him. RIP.
“May he rest in peace. He led a good life and made a huge contribution to the development of global football in particular and world sport in general. He had an enormous generosity of spirit and humility despite his greatness as a footballer and sportsman.”
As Brazil Mourns the Death of Pele
As Brazil mourns the death of the soccer legend who led it to its first-ever world cup in 1958, Christ the Redeemer and the Maracana stadium were lit up Thursday night in honor of Pele with many flooding to the streets or to Santos’s stadium to pay tribute to the King.
It is hoped that Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known mononymously as Pelé will be laid to rest at the Urbano Caldeira Stadium, the home of the soccer club, where a public wake is expected to take place.
While many supporters of the club were seen soberly holding their tribute to Pele by a mural of the club legend painted on the side of the Urbano Caldeira Stadium, others gathered outside the stadium to hold a vigil for the icon after news of his death broke Thursday afternoon.
Reportedly also, many fans grew visibly upset with some breaking into tears and consoling each other as they mourned soccer’s great loss.
Brief about Pele
Pele, the young black kid from Tres Coracoes, in the southern reaches of Minas Gerais, led Brazil to their first World Cup, in Sweden in 1958, aged 17.
He went on to win two more World Cups with the Selecao firstly in Chile four years later and then the iconic third win in Mexico in 1970, making him the only player to have won soccer’s greatest honor three times. Throughout his career, he scored 1,282 goals in 1,366 games, which included 77 in 92 appearances for his country.
His incredible career is littered with remarkable achievements. Most notably he is the only player to have won three World Cups, having also triumphed with Brazil in 1962 and 1970. He was also one of the first black global sporting icons.
Pele helped popularise football across the US when – with three World Cups under his belt – he briefly joined the New York Cosmos.
He played his last game as a professional footballer during his tenure in the US, in New York’s Giants Stadium on 1 October 1977 – representing Cosmos in one half and his former club, Santos, in the other.
Pele’s Burial Arrangements
Pele was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on November 29. He had suffered from kidney and prostate problems since surgery to remove a tumor from his colon in September 2021.
Pele’s body will be taken from the Albert Einstein Hospital to the Urbano Caldeira Stadium in Vila Belmiro at dawn Monday and his coffin will be placed in the center of the pitch.
Anyone who wants to say goodbye to the ‘King of Football’ will enter through two gates and separate from politicians and the authorities.
The ceremony will continue until 10 am on Tuesday, January 3, when the parade will take place through the streets of Santos to the Ecumenical Necropolis Memorial where his burial will take place.