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Woman claiming to be Pele’s daughter demands Brazil football legend be dug up 13 months after death for paternity test

A WOMAN claiming to be football legend Pele’s secret daughter has demanded his body be dug up for a paternity test.

Maria do Socorro Azevedo, 60, instructed a lawyer to make the move nearly five years ago after launching her paternity lawsuit.

Ex-Brazil forward Pele officially had seven children

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Ex-Brazil forward Pele officially had seven childrenCredit: Instagram @pele
Pele left 30% of his estate to his widow Marica Aoki, with another 60% to be split between his children and 10% to two grandchildren

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Pele left 30% of his estate to his widow Marica Aoki, with another 60% to be split between his children and 10% to two grandchildrenCredit: AFP
Pele's family were by his bedside as his condition worsened before his death

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Pele’s family were by his bedside as his condition worsened before his deathCredit: Instagram

Pele, who died aged 82 on December 29 2022 in a Sao Paulo hospital after having a tumour removed from his colon, recognised the possibility he could have had another child in his will.

The Brazil icon married three times and officially has seven children, although one is a stepdaughter.

Two of his children, Edinho Nascimento and Flavia Christina, agreed to DNA tests after the reading of their father’s will.

Reports in Brazil, quoting Maria Do Socorro Azevedo’s lawyer Marcos Fernando dos Santos Sousa, said initial results came back negative but his client’s DNA test had come back with “high possibilities” of a blood link.

Mr dos Santos Sousa said they now had “no option” but to request the exhumation of Pele’s body to “resolve the situation.”

The ex-Santos striker is said to have agreed to a DNA test but died before it could take place.

Maria do Socorro Azevedo spoke publicly about her claims she is Pele’s daughter on a Brazilian TV programme on Sunday and insisted she was not interested in his money.

She said her late mother had never told Pele she was pregnant with their child after a fling in Sao Luis in the Brazilian state of Maranhao.

Maria, who hails from the state of Piaui in north-east Brazil, said she had first decided to do a DNA test in 2019 when she was working as a maid in Sao Paulo.

Pele left 30 per cent of his estate to his widow, third wife Marica Aoki, with another 60 per cent to be split between his children and 10 per cent to two grandchildren.

His net worth at the time of his death has been put at around POUNDS 78 million.

If Maria do Socorro Azevedo ends up being recognised as his eighth child, she would be able to claim her share of the estate her siblings are getting.

A lawyer acting for Pele’s family, Augusto Miglioli, said his family would contest any exhumation demand on the basis that the DNA tests already carried out had shown Maria was not the footballer’s daughter.

Pele, the only player to win the World Cup three times, was laid to rest in January last year in a mausoleum he bought 19 years earlier inside the Memorial Ecumenical Cemetery.

It is a high-rise building in Santos, the Brazilian port city where ‘The King’ played most of his career, that holds the Guinness world record as the tallest cemetery in the world.

Pele won the World Cup three times, including in 1970

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Pele won the World Cup three times, including in 1970Credit: Getty

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