Brazilian soccer legend Pele, who passed away last month, reportedly acknowledged and named his “secret” daughter, Sandra Regina, in his will.
The Brazilian soccer icon had previously refused to acknowledge he was the father of Sandra Regina, leaving her heartbroken when she died 17 years ago.
According to Mail Online, the 82-year-old requested to meet with her two sons, Octavio Felinto Neto and Gabriel Arantes do Nascimento, speaking to them in the flesh for the first time on December 28, just one day before he died. It has now emerged that he gave a share of his multi-million-pound estate to the pair, after finally naming Sandra as one of his seven children in his will.
The Mirror reports Gabriel as saying: “I spoke to my aunts, and they said that our grandfather wanted to see us. We were very excited, it was an opportunity we had been waiting for. Every family has fights and rows, ours is no different, but there are moments when union and love are more important than anything else. We are extremely happy.”
Sandra, who died in 2006 of cancer, was born after Pele had an affair with his cleaner, Anisia Machado. Ms. Machado fought for years to get him to admit he was the father, but he refused to do so, even after a DNA test proved he was. Sandra was given the right to use Pele’s surname, Nascimento, in 1996 after a five-year legal battle.
When Pele died last month after a long battle with cancer he passed on an estate thought to be worth around £13 million. The global icon had three children from his first marriage, twins from his second, and two children, including Sandra, from affairs. He married his first wife Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi in 1966 and they had two daughters – Kelly and Jennifer – and a son, Edson. His first marriage ended in 1982 and Pele was romantically linked with the TV presenter Xuxa, just 17 when they started dating, for several years. But in April 1994, he married the psychologist and gospel singer Assiria Lemos Seixas, who gave birth to twins Joshua and Celeste in 1996.
It is a bittersweet revelation for Sandra’s children, who finally got the recognition and acknowledgement from their father that their mother had fought for, but it comes too late for Sandra to witness it. Her children Octavio and Gabriel said that their mother’s dream had come true and they are extremely happy. It is a reminder that family is important and that love and union should always be prioritized over any differences or fights.
Pele’s legacy on the football field will always be remembered, but this revelation also shines a light on the importance of family and the impact that one’s actions can have on loved ones.