Pele to be laid to rest on 9th-floor ‘vertical cemetery’ in Santos

Monday, January 2nd, 2023 10:29 | By
Pele to be laid to rest on 14-floor 'vertical cemetery' in Santos
Pele's final resting place. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Pele will be buried on the ninth floor of a vertical cemetery, overlooking the Santos football pitch in his beloved home city, to honour his father who wore the No 9 shirt as a player.

On Tuesday the footballing legend will be laid in the vault at the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica - just half a mile away from the stadium that made him famous.

The Brazilian player spent a long time thinking about where he wanted to be buried deciding on his final resting place by paying homage to his father, Dodinho.

Dodinho, who died in 1996, was a centre forward who wore the No 9 shirt.

In a mark of respect to his father, Pele chose to be buried on the ninth floor of the world's tallest, vertical cemetery, the Mirror reports.

Fans of the football superstar believe that this resting place will mean Pele can watch over his favourite football pitch for eternity.

The vertical cemetery was built in 1983 and has more than 14,000 vaults. It has a tropical garden, restaurant and even a classic car museum.

Following the funeral the country will enter three days of national mourning.

Many of the other details regarding the ceremony have been kept a secret, however, has been reported by the Mirror that the coffin will be painted a special golden colour, with a number of carvings and etchings of Pele on either side.

'And it overlooks the Vila Belmiro stadium where he graced the pitch on so many occasions.'

Pele's coffin is currently at Vila Belmiro Stadium, where hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to pass on Monday. It will remain there for 24 hours.

On Tuesday his coffin will be taken through a suburb of Santos where his 100-year-old mother Dona Celeste still lives.

His mother, who is in ill health, is 'unaware' of her son's death from colon cancer.

Speaking yesterday Pele's sister Maria said: 'We talk but she doesn't know the situation. She's in her own world.'

Referring to the three-times World Cup champion by his family childhood nickname of Dico, she added: 'She opens her eyes when I mention his name and say, 'We're going to pray for him' but she's not really conscious of what I'm saying.'

After the coffin is taken through the city's suburbs, Pele will be taken to his final resting place, the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, which was dubbed 'A Tomb With A View' in a 2014 short film on the cemetery.

His funeral has been delayed to allow the transition of power from outgoing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and the inauguration of President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday morning.

The football star's death has led to an outpouring of grief around the globe.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Pele's influence in the world game will be everlasting.

Guardiola said: 'On behalf of Manchester City, the biggest condolences for his family and friends. Football is football thanks to these types of people.

'Neymar said a great sentence when he said before (Pele) number 10 was just a number and after it became something special.

'Every top player wanted to wear number 10 in their team. What he has done for football is there and always will remain.

'It's like a good movie, the legacy after many years. That we are still talking about him like a good movie or a good book is because he was so good.

'I think Pele, (Diego) Maradona, (Johan) Cruyff, (Lionel) Messi, (Franz) Beckenbauer, Cristiano Ronaldo - these type of players will be forever, they will be eternal.

'They have done many things in many years on the pitch and off it and with their teams and countries.

'These type of players make our business, our work, our job, however you want to say it, a better place because what he produced, what we have seen in the World Cup, what one team can produce can change 48 million people, the country. It's unbelievable.'

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said the Brazilian players in his Gunners side, which include Gabriel Magalhaes, vice-captain Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Marquinhos, have been mourning the death of their compatriot.

He said: 'We did talk about (his legacy) the other day and obviously they are very emotional because he's one of the most popular figures in Brazil, and it's a big loss.

'Obviously everything that I've seen of him and hear of him has been through videos and people who knew him personally, and a lot of relationships I've had always in football, but someone that probably changed the dimension of a single player in world football, because he could do a bit of everything.

'He was probably the most complete player that the game has ever seen, and it is a big loss. We had two big losses with him and Maradona in the last (two years).'

Frank Lampard, the former England and Chelsea midfielder who is now manager of Everton, recognises the enormous impact Pele had in the game.

Lampard, 44, said: 'There's huge respect for him as a player and as a person, as all the responses since yesterday have shown. He was a great man as well as a great player.

'He was one of the greatest without doubt, so a sad day for football.

'The reach of his name in the game was obviously huge. It just gets bigger with age. We have lost him unfortunately but his name will continue for evermore because of his impact on the game.'

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