Football fans took to the streets of Sao Paulo with fireworks and flags as the hearse carrying Brazil legend Pele’s body made its way to the sight of the 24-hour public wake that begins on Monday.
Pele, a three-time World Cup winner, had been moved to palliative care early in December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.
His death was announced on Thursday. He was 82.
Tributes have flooded in for the footballing icon after he left a lasting legacy on Brazil and Santos, for whom he scored 643 goals in 659 matches over an 18-year period.
Obrigado, Rei Pelé. pic.twitter.com/2Xb7XElR41
— Santos FC (@SantosFC) December 29, 2022
His body left the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital – where he died – during the early hours of Monday ahead of the wake, with fans coming out in force to bid him farewell.
Santos’ stadium, the Vila Belmiro, will host the public wake starting at 10:00 local time, with Pele’s coffin to be located at the centre of the pitch.
Fans and dignitaries will be able to pay their respects until 10:00 local time on Tuesday.
A procession will then take place on the streets of Santos before Pele is laid to rest in a private ceremony on the ninth floor of the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, a vertical cemetery poignantly overlooking the Vila Belmiro roughly half a mile away.