Brazilian soccer icon Pelé, 82, is joined by family at his hospital bedside this Christmas weekend, as his health has worsened.
His children have shared moving tributes and pictures of their father as they spend Christmas at his side at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo.
On Friday, Pelé’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, posted a photo of herself hugging her father who is pictured on the hospital bed, while his granddaughter, Sofia, is resting in the same room. She captioned the photo, “We continue to be here, in fight and in faith. One more night together.”
🚨AGORA: Kely Nascimento, filha de Pelé, pública foto com o pai no hospital e tranquiliza: “Seguimos aqui, na luta e na fé”. pic.twitter.com/xfcEN1sxU7
— CHOQUEI (@choquei) December 24, 2022
Late on Christmas Eve, Nascimento shared a video in which the great footballer is seen again lying in bed, his family showing him a smart phone as someone is talking to him on the phone.
Pelé, the King of soccer, saying goodbye to his relatives and friends. Waiting for the final hour Stunning images !! Movements continue around Vila Belmiro, which awaits the star for his last move. pic.twitter.com/uLiIQ22u1e
— Isto Não É Podcast (@IstoNaoEPodCast) December 24, 2022
Pele’s son, Edinho, joined sisters Flavia and Kely on Saturday amid concerns over their father’s health.
In a photo posted on his own Instagram account, Edinho is seen holding his father’s hand. He accompanied the post with the words, “Father…my strength is yours.”
“Pa, mi fuerza es tuya” escribió Edinho, hijo de Pelé, desde el hospital. pic.twitter.com/SfXxURttfX
— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) December 24, 2022
Pelé’s health problems and battle with cancer
Pelé was admitted to the hospital on November 29th for a respiratory infection and a “re-evaluation of the chemotherapy treatment over colon cancer identified in September 2021,” according to a hospital statement at the time.
A new statement issued on Wednesday said that Pelé’s colon cancer has progressed. Therefore, he requires “greater care related to renal and cardiac dysfunctions.”
“Our Christmas at home has been suspended,” Kely Nascimento wrote at the time. “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…Einstein gives us!”
FIFA’s “greatest” footballer
Pelé, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is one of the greatest footballers of all time.
He enjoyed a long career in football which spanned twenty-four years, from 1953 to 1977. He also played in four World Cups with Brazil and won three, namely in 1958, 1962, and 1970.
After retiring from football, Pelé served as Minister of Sports of Brazil between 1995 to 1998. In December 2000, Pelé and Maradona shared the FIFA Player of the Century prize.
That same year, IFFHS declared Pelé to be the “World’s Best and Most Successful Top Division Goal Scorer of All Time.”
In 2017, the Brazilian great was listed in the Guinness World Records for the most career goals scored in football.
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