Drei Tage Staatstrauer in Brasilien nach Tod von Pelé
Outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro has declared three days of national mourning after the death of Brazil’s soccer idol Pele.
“The only three-time world champion proved with his actions that he was not only a great athlete, but above all a great citizen and patriot,” wrote the 67-year-old, whose four-year term ends on Saturday (December 31, 2022), in an official statement Opinion.
A little later, Bolsonaro, who was defeated in the October elections, spoke up on his social networks and added: “A man who brought Brazil’s name into the world with football. He turned football into art and joy.”
Bolsonaro’s successor had previously made a similar statement. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will be sworn in as the new Prime Minister in a big ceremony on Sunday, added affectionately: “He went to play one-two in heaven with Coutinho, his great partner at Santos.” Pele’s funeral ceremonies don’t begin until the day after Lula’s inauguration.
Crypt on the ninth floor
Like him, Pelé’s final resting place is in the Guinness Book of Records: Brazil’s deceased legend as the only three-time soccer world champion, the high-rise building in Santos as the tallest cemetery in the world. On Tuesday, the coffin containing the remains of the 82-year-old will be taken to a crypt on the ninth floor of the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica. The footballer of the century bought his grave 19 years ago.
“A place that exudes spiritual peace and tranquility where no one feels depressed,” Pele said at the time. The ninth floor is a reference to his father Joao Ramos, who stormed with the number 9. The crypt overlooks the Estadio Urbano Caldeira, where Pelé scored many of his 1,281 goals for FC Santos between 1956 and 1974.
In the stadium known as Vila Belmiro, his body will also be laid out in the center circle for 24 hours on Monday so that fans can pay their respects to their idol as they pass by. For Tuesday, 10 a.m. local time, a funeral procession is planned across the city to the house where his mother Celeste (100) still lives today, before Pelé finds his final resting place in the memorial.
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