The story of the stormy romance between Xuxa and Pelé: controversies, prejudices and infidelities

When they began their relationship, Pelé was 40 years old and Xuxa 17

In the eighties, when Skin had just retired from football in the New York Cosmos and Xuxa was an emerging figure of show business in BrazilBoth were protagonists of a romance that gave rise to numerous controversies in the media and that ended abruptly at the age of five, although each of them wielded different causes for that end.

When did you meet, Xuxa was just 17 years old And according to what he told in interviews and in his autobiographical book, Skin was the first love of his life, while the great footballer three times world champion I was close to turning 40, she had separated from her first marriage and already had three children.

This situation generated a controversy in Brazilian society with a double standard because on the one hand many did not accept the enormous age distance between it; others, that the parents of the popular presenter (she was not yet there but a rising model) endorsed the relationship, and there were third parties who questioned the young woman, suspecting that it was she who wanted to obtain social benefits and recognition by being in a relationship with one of the country’s greatest idols.

Over time, Xuxa recounted how she met Pelé in 1980: “It was during a magazine cover rehearsal. There were four models, Luiza, Marcia Brito, me, and it was supposed to be a black woman, but he didn’t want to. At that time they named Miss Brazil, who came from Brasilia. In the photo, I came out in front of him ”. He said then that the thing did not end there and that, after the rehearsal, he approached “O Rei.” “He invited me to dinner, I told him I couldn’t because I lived far away and that I was a minor. Then he called my house and my father hung up thinking it was a joke, but then he ended up accepting ”.

In 1980, Xuxa He got to be on the cover of more than eighty graphic media (among them, in the magazine “Playboy”), a little because of his upward career, but much because of the notoriety that he got from being in a relationship with Skin, although his first cover was at 16 years old in the magazine “Affection”. His definitive leap to popularity was in 1982 with his participation in the film “Love, strange love” directed by Walter Hugo Khouri, which contained sex scenes with a 12-year-old boy.

Pelé world champion in Mexico 1970 at the Azteca Stadium
Pelé world champion in Mexico 1970 at the Azteca Stadium

Later, with the success of his career with children, he managed to get that film withdrawn from the market and the same thing happened when “Playboy” magazine tried to republish those original photos. Those who knew the couple’s backstage closely say that it was one of the few times that it was known that the model and then TV presenter turned to Pelé for help and, according to an investigation by the magazine “Veja”, it was the star who managed to avoid him through a negotiation that included an exclusive interview with him. Already later, In 2011, Xuxa won a lawsuit against Google to prevent its name from being linked to pedophilia.

In February 2020, the Brazilian presenter, singer, actress and model came to comment on Matheus Mazzafera’s YouTube channel that with Pelé “I had my first relationship that lasted six years and I have been continually betrayed. When I looked at him, his mouth had lipstick that wasn’t mine. That was normal for him. He once told me: ‘They are the women who want to be with Pelé’. When I turned 23 – when he separated – my life was changing a lot ”.

“At that moment, when I met him, I thought he was unique – He told the “Programa da Sabrina” on TV Record – and that he would be a love for life. It was between my 17 and my 23 years when I fell in love with him and I cannot say that he was a person that I did not love and that he was not important ”. But he recognized that “Fame took my freedom.” “‘When I met Pelé,” he told journalist Luis Erlanger, “everyone who was with me said’ wow, how are you in love with him?”

When asked if he wanted to meet him again, he maintained that “He has deceived me too much, to the point that those women with whom he betrayed me were in the same place that I was and everyone knew it except me, of course. He wrote a book in which he detailed the women he was with while he was with me, and he said something like I was ‘the colorful friendship’, as if we had an open relationship and I swear I never knew. “

In his book “Memories”, Xuxa remembers aspects of her relationship with Pelé. “They invited us to all the events, but now I have very mixed feelings. For everyone he was Pelé, but for me he was Dico, the one who played buraco with my mother. I was very young, without any experience, and what he told me he took as absolute truth. I naturalized his betrayals until a moment came when I couldn’t bear it. Our relationship had no future. For me we were dating and for him it was a colorful friendship ”.

Xuxa was one of the most recognized conductors in South America
Xuxa was one of the most recognized conductors in South America

In those times when he began to distance himself from Pelé, Xuxa worked during the week as a model in New York, where he was installed after having played for years in the Cosmos until his retirement in 1977, and on weekends he recorded the program Television Club del Niño in the defunct “Red Manchete”, for which she had been summoned by director Mauricio Sherman, when the modeling agency made her choose between the catwalks or television and she preferred the children’s program, which consisted of jokes, cartoons and music. I went from Monday to Saturday. That made her return to Brazil and distance herself even more from Pelé, although she denied it outright and said that her hectic life had nothing to do with it and that the reason had been his constant infidelities.

Years later, she said that Pele’s feet were “without a doubt the ugliest” she had ever seen in her life and that she could never tolerate them, adding that the star’s sweat at the time of intimacy was “extreme” and became ” unbearable”. He replied that they were small details without importance compared to what she learned, thanks to him, in privacy.

The version of Pelé, in an interview given to the Colombian weekly “Nuevo Estadio” was different. He stated that his relationship with Xuxa “it was the first serious I had after my separation from Rose. When I met her, she was 15 years old, a virgin, and had a boyfriend with whom she was in a quarrel. His father gave me permission and we went out together. I didn’t like virgins so I told her to solve the problem with her boyfriend. Afterwards we went out frequently. At that time, she was starting her activities on TV and wanted to have children, but I had three and had just separated from my wife, so we did not coincide. A) Yes, the relationship cooled down, although we remained very good friends ”.

Pelé said that he signed the divorce with his first wife without being aware of what he was doing. “She made the decision when I was in Argentina watching the 1978 World Cup. When I returned home, a group of people would wait for me at the New York airport and ask for my autographs. Among these people there were a justice officer who gave me the demand for separation. I didn’t realize it and signed it. When I returned it to him, he told me that this paper, the notice, should keep it. I did not want to separate, not only for her but also for our children and for everything they suffered, but I had no other option “

Pelé with Maradona on Diego's birthday
Pelé with Maradona on Diego’s birthday

It was in this interview that Pelé confessed that his first erotic experience was with a homosexual, when I was 14 years old and playing for Santos. “Let’s do justice, it was not just my thing … It was with a homosexual that our entire team was in Baurú, but afterwards I never entered into this type of relationship again.”

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, “Pelé”, was born on October 23, 1940 in the town of Tres Corazoes, in Minas Gerais, was three times world champion with the Brazilian team (in 1958, 1962 and 1970), and twice, champion of the Copa Libertadores and intercontinental with Santos (1962 and 1963), in addition to having been the highest authority on sport in his country, UN ambassador and decorated as “World citizen”, a member of the FIFA Fair Play Committee and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and enlisted FIFA to partner with UNICEF to make the World Cup in Korea and Japan 2002 dedicated to children, with resounding success.

The Brazilian star, who often says that “I only needed to reach the moon”, retired from soccer on October 1, 1977 playing for the New York Cosmos and his first marriage was in 1966 with Rosemeri Choibi, with whom he was 16 years and had three children, Kelly Cristina, Edinho and Jennifer.

In 1994, at the age of 53, he married the gospel psychologist and singer for the second time. Assyrian Seixas (36), with whom he had 14 years of marriage and two children, twins Josua and Celeste, and in 2016, at the age of 75, he married the Brazilian businesswoman of Japanese origin for the third time Marcia Cybele Aoaki, At the time of 41, and whom he met at a party in the eighties, but they began the relationship in 2010.

During their courtship, Pelé and Xuxa were the most sought-after couple by the Brazilian media
During their courtship, Pelé and Xuxa were the most sought-after couple by the Brazilian media

Pelé admitted to having been unfaithful in his marriages, and in addition to Xuxa, he was also in a relationship with the beauty queens Deise Nunes de Souza and Flavia Cavalcanti. Two daughters are recognized in an extra-marital way, and he was legally obliged to recognize the paternity of one of them, Sandra Regina Machado, who died of cancer on October 17, 2006.

Pelé had to suffer a series of different problems in his later years, such as when his son, former goalkeeper Edinho (Edson Choibi Nascimento), was arrested in 2005 for drug trafficking and in May 2014 he was sentenced to 33 years and four months in prison for money laundering from drug trafficking -then reduced to 12 years and 10 months-, or for health problems (such as a hip operation that depressed him and caused him to was a long time without leaving home and used a walker, and recently, when a tumor was removed in the colon).

Xuxa was born in Santa Rosa, Río Grande do Sul on March 27, 1963, considered “The queen of the short ones” Due to his enormous popularity on Brazilian TV (although it later reached international levels), he also had an affair with the Formula One driver and his compatriot, Ayrton Senna, and with businessman Luciano Szafir, father of his only daughter Sasha, until in January 2013 he announced a relationship with actor Junno Andrade.

At age 49, he recognized in a TV Globo program that was sexually abused in her childhood by a friend of his father, a boyfriend of his grandmother and a teacher until he was 13 years old, and that was what promoted his social activism in favor of children.

Xuxa with her daughter Sasha when she was little
Xuxa with her daughter Sasha when she was little

On March 5, 2015, after 29 years on TV Globo, Xuxa signed a contract with Rede Récord. It is estimated that after more than thirty years of career, he has a net worth of more than 500 million dollars. Currently, she is dedicated to writing children’s books and her daughter Sasha Meneghel Szafir, 22, who works as a model and who accompanied her in January 2020 to Angola to help the children of that country who live in a delicate context, led by the NGO Baluarte.

Xuxa usually maintains that in her autobiographical book “Memories” she makes almost no reference to her past partners “because it is not just about my life but about their lives” although she clarifies that she cannot omit it altogether. “Because they are also part of my life, of my history.”


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The story of the stormy romance between Xuxa and Pelé: controversies, prejudices and infidelities