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Brazilian legend, Pele’s mother dies at 101



Celeste Arantes, the mother of Brazilian football legend Pele, has died aged 101, outliving her famous son by 18 months, the family announced Friday.

Arantes was 17 when she gave birth to her first child on October 23, 1940, a baby who would grow up to be the man widely considered the greatest footballer of all time.

“Rest in peace, grandma,” Pele’s eldest son Edinho wrote on Instagram, a message illustrated with a photo of him hugging his grandmother.

No details were given on the cause of death. According to local media Arantes had been hospitalised for eight days and died on Friday.

At the time of her son’s death, family members said Arantes had cognitive difficulties and was unaware her world-famous son had died.

Arantes, who married Pele’s father, Joao Ramos do Nascimento, at the age of 16, also had another son, Jair, who died in 2020 of cancer, the same illness that claimed Pele’s life.

A stay-at-home mother, she dedicated her life to caring for her children.

“From a young age, she taught me the value of love and peace,” Pele wrote on Instagram on her 100th birthday, along with three pictures of them together at different stages in life.

Nine days later, Pele was admitted to hospital in Sao Paulo, where he died of cancer. His funeral procession included an emotional stop at his mother’s house.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele was the only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).

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