Pele funeral: Fans weep uncontrollably as football legend is laid to rest in Brazil

Pele funeral: Fans cried as the funeral procession passed through Santos
Pele funeral: Fans cried as the funeral procession passed through Santos

Fans have paid their respects following the death of Brazilian footballer Pele

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More than 230,000 people have paid their respects to Brazilian legend Pele in Santos as a 24-hour memorial service ended on Tuesday morning.

The football legend died last week aged 82 after a battle with colon cancer over the past year.

Long queues formed outside the Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos, where Pele lived for most of his life, where an open casket lay for people to pay their respects.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the coffin pass through the streets of Brazil
Thousands of people turned out to watch the coffin pass through the streets of Brazil

According to Santos Football Club, some waited up to three hours to pay their respects, even overnight.

A procession carrying Pele’s coffin passed through the streets of Santos before ending at the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis cemetery, where he was buried in a private ceremony.

The parade halted outside of his 100-year-old mother where crowds lined the streets to applaud as Pele’s sister watched in tears from a balcony.

Among those paying their respects was President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who stood next to Pele’s casket, draped with a Brazilian flag.

He comforted Pele’s family and listened to a Catholic ceremony alongside First Lady Rosangela da Silva.

The President told Santos TV: "The most fantastic thing is that Pele never held his nose in the air, he treated everyone the same.”

Outside the stadium banners saying "Long live the king” were left in honour of Pele who played for Santos from 1956 to 1974 and scored more than 1,000 goals.

Fans were emotional at the coffin procession following the death of footballer Pele
Fans were emotional at the coffin procession following the death of footballer Pele

Among heads of South American and Brazilian football confederations, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was one of the first to honour Pele at the memorial on Monday.

Following Pele’s death, Infantino called on 211 national football associations to honour the legend by renaming a football stadium after him.

Some football stars also attended the wake including former Brazil midfielder Ze Roberto, who helped place Pele’s coffin in the centre of the field.