FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Monday that every country should name a stadium after Pelé. ‘We are going to ask that all countries in the world have at least one stadium with the name of Pele,’ as reported by Daily Mail. The Brazilian football great died Thursday after a battle with cancer. The three-time World Cup winner was 82.
Infantino, who was speaking at Pele’s funeral, added, “I am here with a lot of emotion, sadness, but also with a smile because he gave us so many smiles. As FIFA, we will pay a tribute to the ‘King’ and we ask the whole world to observe a minute of silence.”
Thousands of mourners paid their respects to Pelé in a solemn procession past his coffin at the Vila Belmiro Stadium in his hometown of Santos on Monday.
Pelé’s coffin was placed on the field where he scored some of his best goals. Mourners walked past his casket in the midfield area of the 16,000-seat stadium outside Sao Paulo. A Catholic Mass will be celebrated there Tuesday morning before his burial at a nearby cemetery.
Vila Belmiro was decorated with Brazilian flags and No. 10 shirts that became popular after Pelé started wearing them for Santos and Brazil.
The stands were filling up with bouquets of flowers placed by mourners and sent by clubs and star players — Neymar and Ronaldo among them — from around the world as loudspeakers played a song named “Eu sou Pelé” (“I am Pelé”) that was recorded by the Brazilian himself.
Fans arrived early to honor Edson Arantes do Nascimento, globally known as Pelé.
(With AP inputs)