Pele: Brazilian Woman Wants Late Legend’s Corpse Exhumed for Second DNA Test

Pele: Brazilian Woman Wants Late Legend’s Corpse Exhumed for Second DNA Test

Elijah Odetokun
updated at January 24, 2024 at 12:01 PM
In this article:
Dunarea Calarasi logoMPortugal logo
Brazil logo
  • Soccer legend Pele died in December 2022 after a prolonged battle with cancer
  • There are controversies over the number of his children from extramarital affairs
  • A woman has emerged with a different case of paternity claims and wants a DNA test

Fresh controversy has emerged over the number of children fathered by late Brazilian soccer legend Pele after a woman wants his body exhumed.

Pele passed away on December 29, 2022, after a prolonged battle with colon cancer, throwing the entire football world into mourning for arguably football’s greatest international figure.

Pele, Olympic Stadium, Barcelona, Spain.
Brazilian soccer legend Pele passed away in December 2022. Photo by Xavi Torrent.
Source: Getty Images

He received a state funeral in Brazil and was honoured worldwide, but it was not long before controversies began around how his property would be shared.

He fathered seven children from three marriages and from extra affairs, some of whom began to emerge after his death. He was married to Marcia Aoki at the time of his passing.

Pele’s corpse could be exhumed

Per Sky News, a woman has come forward through her lawyers requesting for Pele’s body to be exhumed for further DNA tests after the first returned a negative result, but the reports suggested a possibility of blood links.

Per Daily Star, the 82-year-old named a secret daughter, which he claimed was his eighth child whom he never met, and Maria do Socorro Azevedo, 60, is fighting a legal battle to be recognised.

The condition set by the three-time World Cup winner for a share of his property to be apportioned to her is if the DNA tests proved any relationship.

His lawyers have rejected any idea of a possible exhumation, labelling it as “unreasonable” and “unlikely”, while Edinho, his eldest son, also quashed any possibility of a second test.

Azevedo began the move in 2019 while Pele was still alive, but his health status and the COVID-19 pandemic stopped her efforts.

Pele acknowledges late daughter in his will

Sports Brief previously reported that Pele acknowledged Sandra Regina in his will despite denying her paternity during her lifetime.

Sandra was born in 1963 after the late footballer had an affair with his cleaner, but all efforts for him to acknowledge the daughter born out of the affair proved futile.

However, he named her in his will and met his two sons before he passed away, handing them a portion of his wealth.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.