The hospital currently treating Pelé has provided a positive update on the Brazilian football icon’s condition.
In a brief statement, doctors at Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo told media on Thursday that the 82-year-old’s condition continued to improve after being treated for a respiratory infection.
Reports over the weekend had claimed that Pele was receiving end-of-life care in hospital after failing to respond to chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer.
However, those requests were denied by daughters Flavia and Kely Nascimento, who insisted their father – who contracted Covid-19 three weeks ago – was not in hospice care and would return home once his breathing problems improved.
And this latest update will further bolster hopes that arguably the greatest football player of all time and one of the sport’s greatest global icons will keep fighting.
“The patient continues to show gradual improvement in his general condition, particularly the respiratory infection,” doctors said Thursday.
“(He has) stable vital signs, is conscious and with no further complications.”
Pele first returned to hospital last week amid worrying reports he was suffering from major swelling all over his body and decompensated heart failure.
However, his family and Pele’s own official social media accounts later insisted he was only there for a monthly visit to re-evaluate his cancer treatment and regulate his medication, after having underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his colon last September. Pelé was also hospitalized earlier this year due to a urinary tract infection.
There was an outpouring of support for great footballers around the world and especially at the World Cup in Qatar, where Brazil’s players, staff and fans all paid tribute during their 4-1 victory in round of 16 against South Korea on Monday night.
Pele remains the only player to have won the World Cup three times – in 1958, 1962 and 1970 – and remains Brazil’s all-time top scorer. His incredible career brought world record numbers of 1,279 goals in 1,363 matches including friendlies.