Celeste Arantes, Mother of Soccer Legend Pelé, Dies at 101

Mother of Brazilian Football Legend (Goal)

Arantes had been in a vegetative state for the past five years and was not informed of her son Pelé’s death in 2022. She had been hospitalized for the last eight days, according to a statement from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), which did not specify the cause of her death.

The Pelé Foundation paid tribute to her on social media, highlighting her exemplary life and the profound impact she had on her family. “We have mixed emotions today.

Celeste Arantes – Mother of Brazilian Football Legend (Goal)

We deeply mourn the loss of ‘Celestinha,’ as her son affectionately called her. Simultaneously, we are eternally grateful for her life,” the foundation remarked. “Dona Celeste is the queen mother and will always be fondly remembered in our hearts and memories.”

Santos FC, where Pelé spent most of his illustrious career, also expressed their sorrow, calling her “the mother of our eternal king.” They noted, “She lived 101 years of an inspiring life. A Black woman who overcame countless challenges for the sake of her family. Her strength and resilience were truly remarkable.”

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, fearing the instability and uncertainties of such a career.

However, as Pelé’s talent and success became evident, her perspective changed. She became one of his most ardent supporters, witnessing him rise to international fame and become a three-time World Cup champion, a feat unmatched in the history of the sport.

Throughout her life, Celeste Arantes remained a symbol of strength and perseverance. Her ability to cross and overcome the adversities of life was a testament to her character. She instilled these values in her children, encouraging them to pursue their dreams despite the obstacles they might face.

Her passing marks the end of an era for the Arantes family and for many in the soccer community who saw her as a maternal figure. The legacy of Celeste Arantes, much like that of her son, will continue to inspire future generations. Her story is a poignant reminder of the powerful influence of family support and the enduring spirit of resilience.