Pele ‘strong with lots of hope’ amid health issues

Pele said he is “strong” and is following his usual treatment in a social media post in response to worrying reports about his health.

Brazilian news outlet Folha claimed earlier on Saturday that the former striker had been transferred to palliative care and that his chemotherapy to treat colon cancer had been suspended.

An update from the doctors treating Pelé at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo on Saturday night presented a more positive picture, and a message was later posted on his Instagram page.

“My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive,” it read. “I am strong, very excited and I continue my treatment as always. I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for all the care I have received.

“I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you around the world fills me with energy. And look at Brazil in the World Cup too! Thank you so much for everything.”

Pelé has been in hospital since Tuesday and his doctors said in a statement that he was stable and responding well to treatment.

The statement said: “Edson Arantes do Nascimento was admitted to the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital last Tuesday for a re-evaluation of the chemotherapy therapy of the colon tumor, identified in September 2021.

“He is still undergoing treatment and his state of health remains stable. She has also had a good response to respiratory infection care, with no worsening of the condition in the last 24 hours ”.

The 82-year-old underwent surgery to remove a tumor during September 2021 and there have been growing concerns for his health.

England captain Harry Kane, speaking ahead of the round of 16 match against Senegal on Sunday, said the team sent its best wishes to Pele and his family.

He said: “He is an inspiration among our game. He is an incredible footballer, an incredible person.

“We are very sad to hear the news that he is ill, but we wish him well, not just me, but the whole England team.”

French striker Kylian Mbappé said on Twitter: “Pray for the King.”

Pelé burst onto the world stage as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their five record-breaking successes.

Injury affected his contribution to the 1962 and 1966 finals, but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely considered the greatest international team of all time.

Officially, Pelé scored 757 goals in 831 games during a brilliant career from 1957 to 1977, although the Santos club claims his tally was closer to 1,000.

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