By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Footballing maestro Pele was laid to rest at Vila Belmiro, the home ground of Santos FC where he spent the majority of his club career, from 1956 to 1974.
A public ceremony took place from January 2, Monday, through to the morning of January 3. His public funeral started at Santos’ home stadium on Monday. His coffin was placed on the pitch and fans were allowed to pay their tributes to one of the greatest to play the sport for 24 hours.
“As he always wanted, our eternal King Pele says goodbye in Vila Belmiro, his home, with his people,” tweeted the official handle of the club.
A procession through the streets of Santos will take place on Tuesday and the parade will pass through Canal 6, an area of his mother’s residence. After this, the procession will continue to a private burial at the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, which will be attended by his family and friends.
Brazil’s three-time World-cup winning football legend, Pele passed away at the age of 82 following a cancer battle.
Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, Pele had been in poor health in recent months and had quite a few stints in the hospital.
The three-time World Cup champion, whose actual name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was reportedly dealing with kidney and heart issues and was hospitalised since November with multiple ailments.
Pele, widely regarded as the game’s most gifted player, guided Brazil to three World Cup victories in 1958, 1962, and 1970. With 77 goals in 92 games, he continues to be the top goal scorer for Brazil.
The footballer boasted of numerous trophies at the club and country level.
Pele won many individual accolades as well. He won the ‘Best Young Player’ award in FIFA World Cup 1958. He has also won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award a massive seven times. His astonishing goal-scoring record made him the rightful ‘Greatest of All-Time’.
The striker dominated the sport from the 1950s to 1970s an era marked by unstructured and decentralised record-keeping in the sport. This deprived the fans of knowing the exact measure of the footballer’s greatness. His goal-scoring record is an issue hotly debated among fans and statisticians alike.
At the international level, Pele remains his country’s all-time top-scorer. With 77 goals in 92 international appearances, this football legend’s feet and the nets could not be separated. He announced himself with a thunderous performance in the 1958 World Cup, in which he scored six goals throughout the tournament. He emerged as the second-highest goal-scorer in the tournament.
This goal tally also makes Pele the 11th-highest run scorer among international footballers.