The president of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, was one of the first authorities to arrive at the Urbano Caldeira stadium, or Vila Belmiro, in Santos, São Paulo state, on Monday (2 January) where the funeral was held. of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pelé. In a press conference, the leader praised the legacy left by the king of football, who died last Wednesday (December 29) at the age of 82.
“Pelé had the gift of the greatest of all time, something that few people in the world have. A gift to touch people’s hearts and emotions. It is true that many, like me, could not see him play, but my father always spoke to me a lot about him”, said Infantino.
“He was the first to do a lot of things on the field, things that 99 percent of people don’t even dream of doing, and the 1 percent who do one thing or another,” said Infantino, who attended in the evening together with other footballers. leaders, such as the presidents of the Brazilian Confederation (CBF) and the South American Confederation (Conmebol), Ednaldo Rodrigues and Alejandro Domínguez, respectively.
The body of Pelé, who died last Thursday (29), was transferred early from the Israeli Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo to Vila Belmiro. The casket is in the center of the stadium’s turf. The slope can be visited by everyone.
After the slope, a procession will take place through the streets of Santos, passing through the avenue where Pelé’s mother lives, Celeste Arantes, who turned 100 on November 20. From there, the body of the famous number 10 star will be taken to the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis, to be buried in a family-only ceremony.