A month ago she turned 100 years old
Pelé wrote his mother a touching letter
On Tuesday, Pelé’s coffin († 82) passed his mother Celeste’s house. It is unclear whether she even knows that her son is dead.
In the middle of the stadium of his former club FC Santos, Pelé’s body is laid out for a wake.
Mathias Germannreporter sports
The world says goodbye to Pelé († 82). On Monday morning, the body of the greatest footballer of all time will be transported from the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo to the FC Santos stadium, where the coffin will be laid out in the middle of the pitch at 10 a.m. local time. During 24 hours there is the possibility to say goodbye to Pelé personally. The following funeral procession on Tuesday passes by the house of his mother Celeste (100) before the exceptional Brazilian footballer is buried in the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, a high-rise cemetery.
So far, so clear. Nevertheless, the communiqué from FC Santos with the information about the funeral process caused astonishment. First of all, many asked very pragmatically: Pelé’s mother is still alive? And secondly, what must it be like for a mother when the coffin with her son’s husband leads in a procession past her own house?
The answer to the first question is simple: Yes, Celeste Arantes do Nascimento, called “Dona Celeste” by Pelé, is alive. She turned 100 on November 20th, the day of the opening match of the World Cup in Qatar. Pelé wrote a touching message on Instagram and posted three photos together. «Today we celebrate 100 years of Dona Celeste. She always taught me the value of love and peace. I have way more than 100 reasons to say thank you for letting me be your child. It is with great joy that I share these images with you to celebrate this day. Thank you for all the days I got to be by your side, Mom.”
“She lives in her world”
Celeste is widowed. Her former husband, João Ramos do Nascimento (everyone called him Dondinho), died in 1996. He rests in the family grave once chosen by Pelé, as does her second son Jair, who died two years ago. There was much speculation about Celest’s state of health. Most recently, her only daughter, Maria Lúcia Nascimento, was not very positive on ESPN. The family spoke to her and told her about Pelé’s death. “She’s fine, but living in her world. She does not know. Or yes.”
Celestes’ bond with Pelé was always strong. Raised in poverty, Dico guarded and protected her. Dico? I agree. That’s what she called her son to the end, as does the rest of the family to this day. It is unclear where the nickname came from – apparently grandmother Ambrosina started it. In contrast, it is clear how the name Pelé came about. The origin: As a child, little Edson liked the goalie of the local club where his father also played – his name was Bilé. But because Edson couldn’t pronounce the name Bilé correctly, his colleagues quickly teased him and called him Pelé himself. This made Edson angry, eventually he accepted him.
Edson, Dico or Pelé. Ultimately, the name doesn’t matter, the eternal number 10 will be remembered one way or another.