Pele´s hearse greeted by fireworks ahead of 24-hour wake

    Football fans took to the streets of Sao Paulo with fireworks and flags as the hearse carrying the body of Brazilian legend Pelé made its way to the site of the 24-hour commemoration starting Monday.

    Pelé, a three-time World Cup winner, was transferred to palliative care in early December after his body stopped responding to cancer treatment.

    His death was announced on Thursday. He was 82 years old.

    Tributes have fallen on the football icon after he left an indelible legacy to Brazil and Santos, for whom he scored 643 goals in 659 matches over an 18-year period.

    His body left Israel’s Albert Einstein Hospital, where he died, early Monday morning before the wake, when fans came out to say goodbye to him.

    A commemoration will take place at Santos’ stadium, Vila Belmiro, at 10:00 local time, and Pele’s coffin will be placed in the center of the field.

    Fans and dignitaries will be able to pay their respects until 10:00 am local time on Tuesday.

    A procession will then pass through the streets of Santos before Pele is buried in a private ceremony on the ninth floor of the Ecumenica Memorial Necropolis, a vertical cemetery that overlooks Vila Belmiro about half a mile away.

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