FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Monday that every country should name a stadium after Pele. We are going to ask that all countries in the world have at least one stadium called Pele. The Brazilian football great passed away on Thursday after a battle with cancer. The three-time World Cup winner turned 82.
Infantino, speaking at Pele’s funeral, added: “I am here with a lot of emotion, sadness, but also with a smile because he has given us so many smiles. As FIFA, we pay tribute to the ‘King’ and ask the whole world to observe a minute of silence.”
Thousands of mourners paid their respects to Pele on Monday in a solemn procession past his coffin at the Vila Belmiro stadium in his hometown of Santos.
Pelé’s coffin was placed on the field where he scored some of his best goals. Mourners walked past his coffin in the center field of the 16,000-seat stadium outside Sao Paulo. A Catholic mass will be held there on Tuesday morning before he is buried in a nearby cemetery.
Vila Belmiro was decorated with Brazilian flags and No. 10 shirts which became popular after Pelé started wearing them for Santos and Brazil.
The stands filled with bouquets of flowers placed by mourners and sent by clubs and star players – including Neymar and Ronaldo – from around the world, while loudspeakers played a song called “Eu sou Pelé” (“I am Pelé”) . recorded by the Brazilian himself.
Fans arrived early to pay tribute to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known worldwide as Pelé.
(with AP inputs)