Thousands of mourners have gathered to pay their respects to Brazil legend Pele who is lying in state at the ground of his former club Santos.

Pele’s coffin was placed in the centre of the pitch at the Urbano Caldeira stadium in Sao Paulo, with fans filling the stands and lining the streets.

The three-time World Cup winner died at the age of 82 on 29 December.

There will be a procession through the streets of Santos to a private family burial on Tuesday.

Brazil’s government declared three days of national mourning after Pele’s death.

Pele, arguably the world’s greatest ever player, had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer since 2021.

“We’re going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pele,” said Fifa President Gianni Infantino, who attended the memorial.

Thousands of fans gathered on the streets as the hearse arrived at the stadium on Monday morning, with some queuing overnight to see the coffin.

“We are talking about a global icon, so this is going to be a huge global occasion,” South American football journalist Tim Vickery told BBC 5 Live.

“Pele is a source of huge pride for Brazil. He is not from Santos but it is a city that he made his home, and he is theirs – but he also belongs to the world.”

Brazilian journalist Ricardo Seyton, who worked closely with Pele during his career, said it was going to be an “intense” day.

“It is the people of the streets, the public, who are making this day so beautiful,” he told BBC 5 Live.

“It is amazing to see people in football shirts from all around the world – that is the legend of Pele.”

Fans queue outside the Urbano Caldeira Stadium ahead of football legend Pele's funeral
Thousands of fans queued outside the Urbano Caldeira stadium, where Pele’s body is lying in state
The hearse carrying Pele's coffin arrives to Santos as a firework goes off in the early morning
Hundreds of fireworks were set off on Monday as Pele arrived at Santos’ stadium
Shirts with Pele's face and number 10 are hung up in the Santos FC stadium
The city of Santos prepares to say goodbye to its hero Pele, who played 656 competitive matches for the club
Pele's coffin is carried in front of a Brazilian flag
Several authorities are expected to attend the memorial, including newly sworn-in Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Fans queuing outside Santos football stadium
Pele’s body will lie in state at Santos’ stadium for 24 hours for the public to pay their respects
FIFA President Gianni Infantino with Pele's son Edinho
Fifa president Gianni Infantino attended the memorial
Mourners stand in line outside Vila Belmiro stadium as they wait to pay their respects to Pele
Thousands of mourners from all around the world are expected to gather in Santos



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