Brazil football legend Pele gave a share of his will to a woman he had long denied was his daughter, the Mirror reported. Sandra Regina was born in 1964 but died 17 years ago. Before her death, she was heartbroken that her father had refused to accept her as his daughter, the platform said.
Even though the football star never acknowledged her, he named her alongside his six other children in his will. Regina’s share of his estate will pass to her two sons, Octavio Felinto Neto and Gabriel Arantes do Nascimento. The two met their grandfather for the first time on December 28, just one day before he died. It was Pele’s final wish to meet them.
“I thank God for providing this moment, it was what my mother dreamed of most. I spoke to my aunts, and they said that our grandfather wanted to see us,” Gabriel Arantes do Nascimento said, according to the Mirror. “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.”
Regina, who died in 2006 of cancer, was born after Pele had an affair with his cleaner, Anisia Machado. Pele refused to admit he was the father, even after DNA tests showed he was. A 1991 court ruling also proved that he was Regina’s father, the Mirror said.
Pele’s estate is said to be worth around £13 million ($16m). The three-time World Cup winner had three kids from his first marriage, twins from his second, and a daughter from another affair.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento (his real name) in 1940 in the city of Tres Coracoes in southeastern Brazil, Pele became a household name, playing for a Brazilian club called Santos and then the Brazil national team. Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Pele is the only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).
In 2000, FIFA named him the greatest footballer of the 20th century alongside Diego Maradona of Argentina.