Two grandsons of the late Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele), Gabriel Arantes do Nascimento and Octavio Felinto Neto are elated to have met their grandfather before the demise of the global icon in December 2022.
The three-time FIFA World Cup winner with Brazil vehemently denied paternity of the woman who gave birth to the pair, Sandra Regina, before her death.
Sandra died heartbroken in 1996 after several efforts to make him accept her as a daughter.
Pele met the two grandchildren on 28 December 2022, a day before he died and it was discovered that he included them and their late mother in his will.
An estate worth £13 million was reportedly bequeathed to them and his other children from two other women.
Pele stood his ground and denied the paternity of ‘secret daughter’ Sandra, born in 1964.
Pele remained adamant even after a DNA test and a court ruling proved that he was the father of the woman whose mother, Anisio Machado, worked for him as a cleaner.
One of Pele’s last wishes was to meet Sandra Regina’s two sons, his grandsons, Gabriel and Octavio – perhaps as a means to make peace after realising his folly.
One of the grandchildren, Gabriel, spoke on how he felt when his aunts broke the news that their grandfather wanted to see them.
“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.” Gabriel said.
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