“He came from time to time”: at the Padoca Santista café, Pelé’s death seems unreal

Jean-Claude Gerez, edited by Yanis Darras
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4:08 p.m., January 01, 2023

Nearly four days after Pelé’s death, Brazil continues to mourn the loss of its “King” of football. In the Padoca Santista café, where the triple world champion came “from time to time” for a cup of coffee, his disappearance still remains unreal.

Four days after Pelé’s death, Brazilians continue to pray and mourn their national football star. Suffering from colon cancer and lung problems, the triple world champion died at the age of 82 last Thursday.

Keeping the Pelé spirit alive

So, to keep the legend alive a little longer, his former teammates but also FC Santos supporters met at the Padoca Santista café. Torn between pain and pride, lovers of Pelé find themselves in this bar run by Edouardo Fernandez, unconditional supporter of the club from the city of Santos and friend of the Brazilian player.

“He came from time to time” in the shop, he remembers at the microphone of Europe 1. “When Pelé came here, it was joy. He could not stay still. Everyone wanted to greet him. But Pelé was accessible. He remained humble. In addition to being the best, he was human,” said Edouardo Fernandez.

“He will never die”

Here, like everywhere in Brazil, the player’s death shook the fans. “I have the impression that it was a lie, that I was going to die,” explains Mario, seated at a table. “It was already a myth, but it will be even more so (after his death, editor’s note). We are just beginning to understand the dimension of the character”, estimates the 66-year-old retiree.

“It was his time, but for us he will never die,” he concludes, explaining that he will go like thousands of others to the funeral wake to be held from Monday to Tuesday. Pelé will then be buried on Tuesday in the cemetery located just a few hundred meters from the stadium that made him king.

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