FIFA president Gianni Infantino poses for selfie next to Pele's open coffin

1078     0
FIFA president Gianni Infantino poses for selfie next to Pele
FIFA president Gianni Infantino poses for selfie next to Pele's open coffin

FIFA president Gianni Infantino posed for selfies with Pele's friends and family next to late footballer's open casket during a 24-hour wake for the Brazilian legend, who died earlier this week.

Infantino is currently in Brazil paying his final respects to Pele, who passed away at the age of 82 following a long battle with colon cancer in recent years. The FIFA chief was amongst thousands of people who have travelled to visit the iconic forward, whose casket is currently on a temporary structure on the pitch of his old club, Santos.

Along with the heads of the South American and Brazilian football confederations, Infantino was one of the first to honour Pele, who many consider to be the greatest footballer of all time.

The FIFA supremo could later be seen posing alongside others for a selfie beside the late legend's open casket. Pele's sister is also believed to be in the picture, which was taken shortly after Infantino was seen consoling Pele's widow Marcia Aoki and his son Edinho. Mirror Football understands all the pictures were requested by Pele's family or friends who were in attendance at the funeral.

Prior to his selfie, Infantino had raised eyebrows at the wake when he called on all 211 national football associations to honour Pele by renaming a football stadium after him.

Chelsea winners and losers from record transfer window as more changes to come rridqziqtqitinvChelsea winners and losers from record transfer window as more changes to come

Infantino told reporters out in Santos: "We are also going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pele." However, the idea has been ridiculed by fans online, who have pointed out the many impracticalities of Infantino's idea.

Join the debate! What do you make of Infantino suggesting all countries should name a stadium after Pele? Let us know here.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino poses for selfie next to Pele's open coffinFIFA President Gianni Infantino (2nd L) stands for a photo next to Pele's open casket (just out of shot)

Following his 24-hour wake, Pele will be laid to rest after a parade on Tuesday. His coffin has been lying in state at the Estadio Urbano Caldeira since Sunday night and a number of his former Brazil and Santos teammates are expected to visit him prior to the funeral.

Infantino had already paid his own tribute to Pele after his death was confirmed on December 29. "For everyone who loves the beautiful game, this is the day we never wanted to come," said Infantino. "The day we lost Pele. 'O Rei' [the king] was unique in so many ways."

He went on to add: "Pele had a magnetic presence and, when you were with him, the rest of the world stopped. His life is about more than football. He changed perceptions for the better in Brazil, in South America and across the world.

"His legacy is impossible to summarise in words. To his family and friends, to CBF, to Brazil and to all football fans who loved him so much, I express my sincere condolences... he achieved immortality a long time ago and therefore he will be with us for eternity."

Dan Marsh

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus