SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Pelé's health has worsened during his hospital stay to regulate his cancer medication, doctors said Wednesday.
The Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement Wednesday that Pelé's cancer has advanced and that the 82-year-old Brazilian soccer great is under “elevated care” related to “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions.”
The hospital did not mention any signs of the three-time World Cup winner's recent respiratory infection, which was aggravated by COVID-19.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who is globally known as Pelé, is undergoing chemotherapy in his fight against cancer since he had a colon tumor removed in September 2021. Neither his family nor the hospital have said whether it had spread to other organs.
Kely Nascimento, one of his daughters, said Pelé will stay in the hospital during Christmas.
“We decided with doctors that, for many reasons, it will be best for us to stay here, with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us,” she wrote on Instagram. “We will even make some caipirinhas (no kidding). We love you and we will give up an update next week.”
Newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported Saturday that Pelé’s chemotherapy is not working and that doctors had decided to put him on palliative care. Pelé's family denied that report. The Associated Press could not confirm the newspaper's information.
Pelé led Brazil to victory at the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups and remains one of the team’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals. Neymar tied Pelé's record during the latest World Cup.
Several tributes and get-well soon wishes were made for the former footballer during the Qatar tournament, which was won by Argentina on Sunday.