Footballing legend Pele, who is also a three-time World Cup winner, passed away at the age of 82, his daughter confirmed on Instagram on Thursday night. The footballer gained immense fame in the world of football, and scored a record 1,281 goals throughout his career.
Doctors had detected a tumor on his colon in September this year, following which Pele was frequently in and out of the hospital. During his last visit Pele was also diagnosed with a respiratory infection.Soon after the news broke out wishes and tributes started pouring on social media from footballing greats, which included the likes of modern day superstars Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar.Messi, who recently lifted the FIFA World Cup with Argentina, took to his official Instagram account to pay his respect to Pele.
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who leaves office on Sunday, declared three days of mourning, and said in a statement that Pele was “a great citizen and patriot, raising the name of Brazil wherever he went.”
Bolsonaro’s successor, President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, wrote on Twitter that “few Brazilians carried the name of our country as far as he did.”
Santos said the coffin carrying the three-time World Cup champion will leave Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo early Monday morning and will be placed in the center circle of the field.
Visitation will start Monday at 10 a.m. and finish the next day at the same time.
Pele’s casket will be carried through the streets of Santos and will pass in front of the home of his 100-year-old mother, Celeste. Recent reports in Brazilian media say Pele’s mother cannot leave her bed and is not lucid.
The burial will take place at the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, a vertical cemetery in Santos. Only family will attend.
Pele has a home in Santos, where he lived most of his life, and spent his last years in the city of Guaruja.
Pele had a colon tumor removed in September 2021. Neither his family nor the hospital have said whether it had spread to other organs. He returned to the Albert Einstein hospital on Nov. 29 with COVID-19 and a respiratory infection.
Last week, the hospital said in a statement his cancer had advanced.
Pele led Brazil to World Cup victory in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and remains one of the team’s all-time leading scorers with 77 goals. Neymar tied Pele’s record during this year’s World Cup in Qatar.