Brazil’s current and former crop of players have been criticized by local and foreign media for missing Pele’s funeral and instead offering condolences on social media.

Pele, who passed away at the age of 82, was finally buried in Memorial Necropole Ecumenical in Santos after laying in his wake for 24 hours. 

Much to everyone’s dismay, very few of the current and former footballing stars showed up to pay their respects leading to anger from the public and media outlets alike.

Neymar and Rodrygo who came through Santo’s ranks were absent from Pele’s funeral as were players from the 2002 World Cup winning squad including the renowned names of Kaká, Ronaldinho, Cafu and Rivaldo.

Most of Pelé’s surviving Brazil teammates from the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup titles were also unfit to attend the proceedings.

Neymar, who returned to training with PSG, and the others who are busy with footballing duties offered a simple explanation of not being granted release by their clubs but it changed little to sway the public.

Angry comments flooded their social media pages with people criticizing them for missing the funeral of a man who put Brazil on the footballing map, whose rewards they are all reaping.

However, his burial appears to have come full circle as Pele famously never attended any funerals himself including the ones of his father and brother.

A similar row over funeral attendance emerged almost 40 years earlier when Pele’s great team-mate Garrincha had died at just 49. Pele, and many other famous players from the country’s past, did not attend his funeral either.