The hospital treating Brazilian football great Pele announced a “progression” Wednesday in his cancer, as well as kidney and heart problems.
Pele, 82, is being treated in the general ward but “requires greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions,” said the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo.
Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo on November 29 for what his medical team called a re-evaluation of his chemotherapy treatments, which he has been receiving since having surgery to remove a colon tumor in September 2021.
Doctors have also diagnosed Pele — whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento — with a respiratory infection.
Earlier this month, Pele’s daughters Kely Nascimento and Flavia Arantes sought to reassure fans about his health, denying reports that Pele had been placed in end-of-life care.
“Edson Arantes do Nascimento presents cancer disease progression and requires greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions” a hospital statement said Wednesday.
He was not in intensive care, it added.
Just minutes after the hospital announcement, Nascimento and Arantes said on Instagram their father would not be home for Christmas.
“Our Christmas at home has been suspended,” they wrote.
“We decided with the doctors that, for various reasons, it would be better for us to stay here with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us!!”
Pele scored more than 1,000 goals in one of the most storied careers in sport. He is the only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).
“The King” has been in fragile health in recent years, and his public appearances have grown rare. But he remains active on social media.
He posted regularly online during the Qatar World Cup, including a message of support to Brazil star Neymar after the “Selecao” crashed out of the tournament in a quarter-final loss to Croatia.