Brazilian football icon Pele acknowledged his ‘secret’ daughter in his will despite denying her when he was alive.
Sandra Regina was the daughter of Anisia Machado, a cleaner who had an affair with Pele some decades ago. Despite Ms Machado providing a DNA test to prove Pele was the father of her daughter, the football legend refused to recognise her.
A legal tussle followed and after five years of back and forth, Sandra was given the right to use Pele’s surname, Nascimento, in 1996.
Sandra, however, died of cancer in 2006, leaving behind two children Octavio Felinto Neto and Gabriel Arantes do Nascimento.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, Pele acknowledged his secret daughter in his will, and also willed a share of his multi-million-pound estate to them, having met them a day before his death.
One of Sandra’s sons, Gabriel, is quoted 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.”
Pele sadly passed away last Thursday, December 29, 2022, following a long battle with colon cancer. A three-time FIFA World Cup winner, Pele scored over 1000 goals in his career and is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time.