By Emmanuel Adeleke
Family of the late Brazilian football legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pele, were shocked when a secret lovechild surfaced in his will.
Born after the Brazilian football icon had a fling with her mother in the 1980s, Maria do Socorro Azevedo, could now be entitled to a slice of his fortune.
When Pele died in December 2022, his wealth was estimated to be £12 million, but now reports in Brazil suggest it could be as high as £75 million.
Pele insisted in his will that Maria must have a DNA test and if it proves a match, she should be given a share of the cash.
The football great was married three times and officially has seven children.
But in 2022, Azevedo started a paternity recognition process before the Sao Paulo State Public Defender. The Regional Court notified Pele but the deterioration of his health prevented a DNA test.
The UK Mirror quoted a source to have said: “Pele mentioned in his will the existence of Maria do Socorro Azevedo, who could be his daughter, and officially expressed she must receive part of his assets if the DNA test confirms the paternity. It seems Pele used the will to let his family know about the heir.”
Lawyer Augusto Miglioli, who represents three of Pele’s children, said of Maria’s claim: “The part that would be allocated to her, given the possibility that she is an heir, will necessarily be reserved.”
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