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Pelé's mother Celeste Arantes dies at age 101 in Brazil

SAO PAULO (AP) — Celeste Arantes, the mother of late soccer great Pelé, died on Friday at age 101.

Arantes spent the past five years in a vegetative state and was not informed about her famous son's death in 2022. She was hospitalized for the past eight days, the Brazilian Football Confederation said in a statement.

Arantes' cause of death was not revealed, the CBF added.

The Pelé Foundation said on its social media channels that the mother of the only three-time World Cup-winning player was a role model.

“Today's feelings are mixed. We deeply mourn the departure of ‘Celestinha,’ as her son affectionately called her. At the same time, we are eternally grateful for her existence,” the foundation said. “Dona Celeste is the queen mother and will forever be lovingly remembered in our hearts and memories.”

Santos, the club where Pelé played most of his career, said its fans were sorry for the death of “the mother of our eternal king.”

“She had 101 years of an inspiring life story. A Black woman who faced endless adversities in life for the good of her family,” the club added.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, globally known as Pelé, was one of Celeste Arantes' three children. She was initially against her son becoming a professional footballer, but gradually changed her views as her son became more successful.

Pelé died on Dec. 29, 2022.


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The Associated Press

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