in Brazil challenges the absence of the big football stars

For his funeral this Tuesday in Santos, Pelé will have gathered his relatives, many Brazilian supporters, but few soccer stars.

Pelé’s funeral, which ended on Tuesday, will continue to be an extraordinarily popular event for the city of Santos. The three-time world champion will have been accompanied by his relatives and his people during the final trip to the vertical cemetery. His relatives, his people … but not the stars, the biggest absence of the day, which got Brazil talking.

>> Brazil’s moving farewell to Pelé

“Football with Clans”

All Seleçao supporters present at the venue asked themselves the question. Why has no national football star made the trip to say goodbye to the legend?

“Individualists”, some cry. “Brazilian football with clans and individualism”, for others. The answer is hard to find. All players make an excuse. Some current players are busy with their club schedule, like Neymar, whose father was in attendance. But even among the old, like the 1994 or 2002 generation, very few made the trip.

These absences make headlines on television programs in South America, which are full of criticism.

“Neymar could very well have pressured PSG to come here, especially being carried away by the presenter of “Brasil Urgente”, José Luiz Datena. He has already pressured the club several times to come to parties, why not ask PSG to say goodbye to Pelé? I think as a Brazilian player he had an obligation to come and see Pelé’s coffin to say goodbye. It was important for Brazilian football.”

The believers from Santos were there

Pelé was still able to count on the support of former Santos club mates, loyal to the end, including the midfielder from the brilliant 1970 selection, Clodoaldo.

“It is very moving for us to feel this love, this recognition, explained the latter. Pelé deserves all the tributes, for his greatness and for what he has brought to the world of football and to Brazil.”

On Monday and Tuesday, almost 230,000 people came to Pelé’s coffin to wake.

After a funeral procession, his remains joined an impressive mausoleum, a “vertical cemetery” designed especially for him. The monument, 200 m2 in size, resembles a football stadium, with artificial grass and photos of “The King”.

CP with Nicolas Pelletier

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