Pele has given an update on his health, claiming that he is ‘strong’ and ‘very hopeful’, after reports emerged earlier on Saturday that he had been receiving ‘end-of life palliative care’ in hospital.
Reports in Brazil said the 82-year-old, who went into hospital last week, was receiving measures to relieve pain in an ‘end-of life palliative care’ ward.
They also said he was ‘no longer responding to chemotherapy’ in his fight against bowel cancer.
But, in a hugely positive announcement, Pele shared on Instagram that he was doing OK and thanked everyone who had sent their well wishes.
He said: ‘My friends I want to keep everyone calm and positive thinking. I’m strong, very hopeful, and following my treatment as usual.
‘I want to thank the whole medical and nursing team, for all the zeal I’ve been receiving. I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you, coming all over the world, keeps me full of energy.
‘And watch Brazil in the World Cup too! Thank you so much for everything.’
Football legend Pele, 82, has posted his first message since being moved to ‘end-of-life care’
The Brazilian icon said he was ‘strong, with a lot of hope’ and thanked people for their support
Pele is one of the greatest footballers of all time and won three World Cups with Brazil
He was admitted into the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday suffering from ‘general swelling’ and ‘heart failure’.
An update on Thursday said the three-time World Cup winner was in a ‘stable’ condition in the hospital with his daughter Kely Nascimento insisting there was ‘no cause for alarm’.
However, a report by Folha de Sao Paulo on Saturday, said Pele wasn’t responding any longer to the chemotherapy treatment he has been undergoing since last September to treat his bowel cancer.
They said he is now in palliative care and won’t be subjected to invasive tests or treatment. Palliative care is for patients with potentially life-threatening diseases or conditions and end-of-life care.
But, according to ESPN Brasil, a statement from the hospital on Saturday said Pele was responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection and his health had not in fact deteriorated over the previous day.
They said: ‘Edson Arantes do Nascimento was admitted to the Hospital Israelite Albert Einstein this past Tuesday (29) for a reassessment of his chemotherapy for his colon tumor, which was diagnosed in September 2021.
‘He is still undergoing treatment and his health condition remains stable. He is responding well to care for a respiratory infection, and his condition has not changed in the last 24 hours.’
Brazilian football legend Pele, 82, was admitted to hospital last Tuesday and reports in Brazil on Saturday said he had been moved to a ‘palliative care’ ward
Pele’s wife and carer took him to hospital earlier this week amid concern about his health
Pele – whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento – is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time.
He won three World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and scored 643 goals in 659 official matches for the Brazilian club Santos. He scored 77 times in 92 games for his country’s national team.
His former club Santos, Brazilian ex-player Rivaldo and the France international forward Kylian Mbappe were among those tweeting their best wishes to him and a speedy recovery, joining fans around the world.
England captain Harry Kane said: ‘We send our best wishes to him and all his family from the whole England set-up. He’s an inspiration, an incredible person.’
The France international forward Kylian Mbappe, tweeted ‘pray for the King’.
The former Brazilian footballer Rivaldo was among those wishing Pele well on Twitter
Brazil and Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr posted a get well soon message to Pele on Instagram
The France star Kylian Mbappe was among those wishing Pele well on social media
Pele’s former club Santos wrote: ‘It’s the whole world wishing you well, King Pele.’
The current Brazil star Vinicius Jr posted pictured fan banners from Friday’s World Cup match against Cameroon and said: ‘Força rei’ [literally, ‘strength to the King’].
On Friday, the Albert Einstein Hospital released a statement saying Pele had been diagnosed with a ‘respiratory infection’ that was being treated with antibiotics.
The update said the former player is expected to remain in hospital for continued treatment in the coming days but said his condition was ‘stable’.
In a post on Pele’s Instagram account on Friday, he responded to a ‘Get well soon’ message that was projected onto a building in Qatar, where the World Cup is taking place.
He wrote: ‘Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit. It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes.’
Pele recorded a video for Instagram on his 82nd birthday back on October 23 and accompanied it with the message: ‘On my birthday, I just want to express my gratitude. Life is good. Turning 82 with my family, in good health, is the best gift. Thank you for everything I have received.’
The Thursday update from the hospital had said Pele was in a ‘stable condition’ and ‘in full control of vital functions’ having not been admitted to an Intensive Care United [ICU].
A statement issued to the Brazilian media said: ‘After medical evaluation, the patient was taken to a common room, without the need for hospitalisation in a semi-intensive unit or ICU.
‘The former player is in full control of vital function and [in a] stable clinical condition.’
The exterior of the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo where Pele is receiving treatment
The former striker had received tributes at the World Cup after being admitted to hospital
The hospital confirmed Pele had been taken into hospital ‘for a reassessment of the chemotherapy treatment of the colon tumour identified in September 2021.’
There is no time frame on Pele’s hospital stay, and his wife Marcia Aoki and carer are by his bedside.
However, Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento, who is not in Brazil, had insisted on Tuesday that there was no need for alarm and that her father’s hospital admission is ‘no surprise or emergency’.
She posted on Instagram: ‘Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my dad’s health. He is in the hospital regulating medication.
‘There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Year’s and promise to post some pictures.’
Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento insisted there was no need for alarm in a social media post
Pele was hospitalised for six days last year and underwent surgery to remove a tumour in his colon. The Globo news site in Brazil said Pele was undergoing routine examinations in Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital when the undisclosed issue was detected.
Brazil fans also unfurled a ‘Get well soon Pele’ banner ahead of their final World Cup group match against Cameroon on Friday night.
There had also been heartfelt tributes from with the Brazil camp ahead of the game.
‘We found out the news on Wednesday,’ coach Tite said ahead of the Cameroon game.
‘He is possibly one of the biggest representatives of Brazil. We wish him good health. That’s the feeling of all of us from the Brazil squad. We are wishing Pele all the best.’
Brazil lost 1-0 to Cameroon in their final group stage fixture of the World Cup on Friday night
Brazil fans unfurled a large banner saying ‘Get well soon Pele’ ahead of their game in Qatar
Pele has been battling bowel cancer since he was diagnosed with a tumour in his large intestine at the end of August 2021. He was undergoing routine examinations which were delayed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Four days later, he underwent surgery at the Albert Einstein hospital to remove the tumour and was taken into an ICU unit several times because of respiratory issues.
He started a course of chemotherapy shortly afterwards and in December 2021, was taken back into hospital for more cancer-beating treatment. He was discharged just before Christmas.
Pele went back into hospital for another course of chemotherapy in February, joking on social media that ‘hopefully there’s popcorn to watch the Super Bowl soon’.
When doctors discovered a urinary tract infection, his stay in hospital was extended but Pele was discharged on February 28.
The octogenarian has also struggled with his mobility in recent years after three hip operations.