The Brazilian football legend, who passed away in December at the age of 82, was the father of seven children: Kely, Flávia, Sandra, Edson, Jennifer, Joshua and Celeste.
Pelé, the legendary Brazilian soccer player, died at the age of 82 while undergoing treatment for colon cancer.
“King Pele’s path was marked by inspiration and love, and he passed away peacefully today. During his journey, Edson captivated everyone with his athletic brilliance, stopped a war, led social work around the world, and preached what he believed to be the cure for all our problems: love,” said a statement on his Instagram account . “Your life’s message will be passed on to future generations.”
In addition to being a football legend, Pelé was also the father of seven children. Throughout his life, he had several partnerships, some of which ended in romance and others in scandal.
Pelé married three times, the first time in the late 1960s to Rosemeri dos Reis Cholbi. They welcomed three children: daughters Kely and Jennifer, as well as son Edinho Nascimento.
Several decades later, when Pelé was in a romantic relationship with Brazilian singer Xuxa, the couple divorced. The World Cup winner reportedly dated the pop sensation for four years before splitting in 1986.
In the 1990s, Pelé married his second wife, Assiria Lemos Seixas. They had twins, Celeste and Joshua, at the same time. Pelé and Assiria separated after 12 years of marriage.
Marcia Cibele Aoiki, a Brazilian entrepreneur, became the star’s third and final marriage a few years later.
Pelé also had two children with women he did not marry: Sandra Regina Machado, his fourth daughter, with maid Anizia Machado, and Flávia, his fifth, with journalist Lenita Kurtz.
1. Kelly Christina Arantes do Nascimento
Kely is Pelé’s first child and eldest daughter, born on January 13, 1967, to his first wife, Rosemeri. Kely has always admired her father’s passion, discipline and humility as an athlete, as well as the way he inspires young people.
As she grew older, Kely and her sisters founded the Nascimento Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating a sustainable and peaceful future for children around the world through sports and the arts.
She has recently shifted her focus to sports diplomacy and sport for development, where she has contributed to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through global travel and storytelling. She gave a TEDx Talk in June about breaking down barriers for women in football.
Kely is currently in post-production on her feature film Warrior of a Beautiful Game, which will focus on gender discrimination in sports. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her four children, Malcolm, Ruby, Enzo and Ella, and also enjoys going to the soccer field.
2. Flavia Arantes do Nascimento
Pelé had his second child, Flávia, with journalist Lenita Kurtz in 1968, while still married to Rosemeri (and would remain so for many years to come).
Flávia is currently working as a consultant in a large hospital in Brazil. It was named one of the best specialist hospitals in the world in 2021. She was also invited to join the Board of Trustees of Little Prince Hospital.
3.Sandra Regina Machado Nascimento
Sandra Regina Machado, the second daughter of Pelé, was born in 1963 as a result of an affair with maid Anisia Machado. For years, the soccer legend denied being her father and refused to submit to a DNA test.
Sandra later took the football star to court and sued him in 1991. Based on DNA evidence, the courts determined that Sandra was his daughter two years later. Despite Pelé’s appeal, it was confirmed in 1996 and she was allowed to use his father’s surname.
Sandra eventually wrote a book, The Daughter the King Didn’t Want, about her traumatic path in the wake of her father’s rejection. In addition, she was elected to the Santos City Council.
In 2001, she filed another complaint against her father, claiming that she did not receive the same amount of money from Pelé as her half-siblings Kely, Edson, and Jennifer. The claim was rejected by the court.
Sandra died of cancer in October 2006. Her husband and two children were left behind.
4. Edinho “Edson” Arantes do Nascimento
Edinho is Pelé’s fourth and first son, born on August 27, 1970, to Rosemeri. Edinho, nicknamed Edson after his father’s first name, was a Brazilian footballer who played professionally before retiring in 1999.
During his professional career, Edinho was a goalkeeper for four Brazilian clubs: Santos, Portuguesa Santista, So Caetano and Ponte Preta. But his time on the field didn’t end with his retirement.
Edinho joined Santos in 2007 as a goalkeeping instructor and was promoted to assistant coach in 2015. In the following years, he worked as a manager at various clubs, including his father’s local club, Tricordiano, although he eventually returned to Santos as a development coordinator and then manager in 2019.
Aside from football, Edinho was arrested in 2005 and finally jailed for money laundering and drug trafficking in 2014. Although he denies all charges, Edinho admits to having a drug problem in the past despite being clean for many years. Pelé paid him several visits in prison.
Edinho was hired as the coach of the Brazilian football team Londrina in early December 2022. He is now assembling the team for the 2023 season.
5. Jennifer Cholby Arantes do Nascimento
In June 1978, the World Cup Champion and Rosemeri welcomed their fifth child, Jennifer Cholby Nascimento.. Jennifer, unlike her siblings and famous father, has decided to live a lonely life. There are few details about her and there is only one published photo of her, which shows Pelé holding her as a newborn.
6. Joshua Arantes do Nascimento
Pelé and his wife Assiria welcomed boy-girl twins on September 28, 1996, becoming his sixth and seventh offspring. His son, Josh, prefers to keep his life quiet on social media, but public records show that he, like his older half-brother, Edson, and his father, was a football player.
Although he no longer plays, records suggest he was a member of the Santos club in 2013 and 2014. In 2016, he moved to the United States to play forward for the Spartans football club at the University of Tampa.
According to his Instagram bio, Josh has a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and human performance. He now lives in the United States and works in the strength and conditioning field. He also coaches at the Golden Goal Soccer Academy in Florida.
7. Celeste Arantes do Nascimento
Celeste, the twin sister of Josh, was born on September 28, 1996 to Pelé and Assiria. Although she likes to keep most of her life private, she occasionally appears on her half-siblings’ social media profiles.