SAO PAULO ( Associated Press) – Brazilian soccer great Pele is responding to treatment for a respiratory infection and his condition has not worsened over the past 24 hours, Albert Einstein Hospital said Saturday.
Pele, 82, has been hospitalized since Tuesday.
“I am strong with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as always. I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for the care I have received,” Pele said in a statement on Instagram. There is a lot of faith and every message of love I get from you all over the world fills me with energy. And I also see Brazil in the World Cup.”
Messages of well wishes have been pouring in from around the world for the three-time World Cup winner, who is also undergoing treatment for cancer. His daughter, Kelly Nascimento, posted several photos on Instagram of Brazilian fans in Qatar carrying banners and flags with the message. Messages of support for the retired football great appeared on various buildings in the Middle Eastern nation.
Albert Einstein Hospital said on Friday that he was being treated for the infection with antibiotics as well as chemotherapy for the cancer. Edson Arantes do Nascimento – that’s his real name – underwent an operation in 2021 to remove a colon tumor.
Neither the family nor the hospital has said whether the cancer has spread to other organs.
The Folha de S Paulo newspaper reported on Saturday that Pele was not responding to chemotherapy and doctors had decided to give him palliative care. The Associated Press could not verify that information.
ESPN Brasil reported on Wednesday that Pele was taken to hospital with “general swelling”.
Brazil won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups with Pelé still their top scorer with 77 goals in 92 games.