The world recently lost one of its greatest football players—Pele. While his passing shook the world, it also unraveled one of his best-kept secrets— Sandra Regina. The mystery daughter took international media by storm after filing a legal petition against the icon in 1990, post which the two had to take a DNA test, the results of which worked in her favor.
While Pele maintained a stoic silence about the episode all through his sporting career, he released a statement in 2009: “To this day, no one knows the whole story involving my daughter. What happened was that one day I was approached and they told me about a supposed daughter of mine. I talked about it normally and thought that this was the third or fourth person to imagine or verify if I was the father of other children. None won. So I asked for photos of Sandra and right away I felt that she really looked like me.”
The statement further read, “After that, the relationship with some interlocutors became not so friendly anymore, especially when the son-in-law entered the story. Some charges, apparently also including financial charges, sounded like blackmail, on the basis of ‘the public will know’. I felt pressured. The meetings, with lawyers on both sides, became more formal, far from a father-daughter relationship, with the aggravating factor that Sandra was already a mother.”
However, things changed after his death. Reliable sources suggest that at the time of his will reading, it was discovered that he’d left all he had to his children—Regina, included. Regina was born in 1964 and is the daughter of Pele’s house help Aniso Machado, who he reportedly had an affair with. It has been 17 years since her demise. Regina fought a long battle against breast cancer and eventually lost the fight after respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
Pele was battling cancer and was 82 years old at the time of his death. He was undergoing treatment at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Meeting the kids of Regina and his other grandchildren was reportedly one of his last wishes.
Lead Image: Pele/Instagram