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Brazilian football great Pele buried after huge procession

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SANTOS, BRAZIL: Police officers carry the coffin of Brazilian football legend Pele during his funeral ceremony in Santos, Brazil on January 03, 2023. (Fernanda Luz - Anadolu Agency)
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Jan 04, 2023 - 07:05 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Brazilian football legend Pele was buried on Tuesday following a parade through the streets of the coastal city of Santos.

Thousands of fans gathered to pay respect to Pele ahead of his private burial at the Memorial Necropole Ecumenical vertical cemetery in Santos.

On Monday, Pele’s coffin was placed under a large canopy at Santos FC’s Vila Belmiro stadium as fans walked past his casket to pay their last respect to him.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino paid his last respects to Pele when he attended a memorial for the legend at the stadium.

“The whole world knows Pele and knows what Pele did for football. He made people fall in love with football,” Infantino said on fifa.com

“He is eternal, the King is eternal, and we are here, with much emotion, with great sadness … but with also a smile, because he made all of us smile,” he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Brazil’s newly sworn-in President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended the funeral ceremony.

Nicknamed “the Black Pearl,” Pele died on Dec. 29 at age 82 after a long battle with cancer.

Brazil declared three days of mourning following his death.

Pele was the all-time leading scorer in the history of sports with 1,283 goals in 1,363 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977.

Also nicknamed “O Rei,” or “The King,” he is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Pele won six Brazilian Serie A titles, two Copa Libertadores titles, and the Intercontinental Cup for Santos.

He led Brazil to a record three World Cup titles in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

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