Football legend Pele discovered his ‘secret’ daughter in his will after he denied it was his daughter his whole life, it was revealed.
The Brazilian soccer icon had previously refused to acknowledge that he was the father of Sandra Regina, leaving her heartbroken when she passed away 17 years ago.
Despite this, the 82-year-old asked to meet her two sons, and spoke to them physically for the first time on December 28, just a day before his death.
It has now emerged that he gave a share of his multimillion-pound estate to the husband, having finally named Sandra as one of his seven children in his will.
Pele, pictured here in 2014, died on December 29 in Brazil at the age of 82 after multiple organ failure.
Sandra Regina, pictured, was one of Pele’s seven children, but he refused to acknowledge that he was her father
An end to the family drama that has plagued the three-time World Cup winner for decades, her children Octavio Felento Neto and Gabriel Arantes do Nascimento say their mother’s dream has come true.
The Mirror reported that Gabriel said: ‘I spoke to my aunts, and they said our grandfather wanted to see us.
We were so excited, it was an opportunity we’ve been waiting for. Every family has fights and disagreements, and ours is no different, but there are moments when union and love are more important than anything else. We are very happy.
Sandra, who died in 2006 of cancer, was born after Pele had an affair with his therapist Anisia Machado.
Machado struggled 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 granted 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 lost an estate believed to be worth around £13m.
The global icon had three children from his first marriage, twins from his second and two children, including Sandra, from relationships.
He married his first wife, Rosemary Dos Reyes Chulby, in 1966, and they had two daughters – Kelly and Jennifer – and a son, Edson.
Pele, pictured here celebrating a goal in the 1970 World Cup final, was a global football icon
Watch a packed Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday take on Pele Santos in a friendly match in February 1972
Pele’s widow Marcy Aoki and son Edinho were pictured in a tearful embrace as they bid farewell to the football legend
The son, known as Edino, was sentenced to 33 years in prison for money laundering and drug trafficking charges in 2014 but this was reduced to 12 years and 10 months on appeal.
His first marriage ended in 1982 and Pele was romantically linked to TV presenter Xuxa, who was only 17 when they started dating, for several years.
But in April 1994 he married psychologist and gospel singer Assiria Lemos Seixas, who gave birth to twins Joshua and Celeste in 1996.
He became acquainted with his other illegitimate daughter, Flavia Cortez, whom he had after an affair with journalist Lenita Coetz in 1968.
He once said in an interview that he had a “normal guy and had many adventures” when asked in an interview.
He married his third wife, Marcia Aoki, who was 32 years his junior, in 2016 after six years of dating.
He was survived by his sister Maria and his 100-year-old mother Celeste, who was unaware that her son had died in the following days.
Pele’s body was displayed in the aftermath of 24 hours inside the Villa Belmero stadium, the home ground of Brazilian football club Santos, where he spent most of his career.
Thousands of people lined up to pay their respects to the man who became the face of world football for three decades.
The casket arrived before the doors were opened to the public, with Pelé’s son Edinho serving as one of the pallbearers. Funeral workers wrapped a veil over him and Edinho was filmed placing his hand on his father’s forehead and praying in the moments before the start of the wake.
Pele’s widow Marcia Aoki was photographed putting a cross necklace on her husband’s body, and was later seen embracing Edino.