Brazil holds 24-hour wake for 'king of soccer' Pele

STORY: Mourners in Brazil lined up to see the body of soccer legend Pele, who laid in an open casket in the coastal city of Santos on Monday for his 24-hour wake.

Long lines snaked outside Vila Belmiro stadium, home of the Santos Football Club, to see Pele, who died last week at the age of 82 after battling colon cancer.

His body arrived early Monday morning in Santos, where he lived most of his life, after traveling from Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein Hospital.

Former Brazil midfielder Ze Roberto and Pele's son helped place his coffin in the center of the field.

Some fans wiped away tears as they crossed the pitch. Others waiting outside to pay their respects credited Pele with elevating Brazil's standing in the world.

“It’s the loss of an idol for everyone, a great person who raised the country’s name in all parts of the globe.”

Pele, who scored more than 1,000 goals for Santos, is the only man to win the World Cup three times as a player.

The city's press office said some 5,000 journalists from all over the world had been accredited to cover the wake.

Sao Paulo state military police said in a statement they had prepared a special operation called the "King Pele Operation" to ensure public order.

On Tuesday, a procession carrying Pele's coffin will pass through the streets of Santos, ending at the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis cemetery, where he will be buried in a private ceremony.