Mbappe, Lineker, prominent football figures pay Pele tributes after movement to ‘end-of-life’ care
Prominent members of the footballing world have flocked to send tributes to Pele after the Brazil legend was moved to palliative care.
Pele, 82, is receiving end-of-life care in hospital in Sao Paulo after he stopped responding to chemotherapy treatment for his bowel cancer. He was admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital on Tuesday after suffering with symptoms of ‘general swelling’ and ‘heart failure’.
Doctors subsequently released a statement confirming Pele had a respiratory infection which required antibiotics but insisted he was in a stable condition. The former striker, the only player to win the World Cup three times, also posted an encouraging update, but things appear to have deteriorated towards the end of the week.
Folha de Sao Paulo reported on Saturday that Pele has become unresponsive to chemotherapy treatment, which he has been undergoing for many months to tackle cancer. Further, he has been taken to a ward for those battling life-threatening illnesses or who require end-of-life care.
In response to the sad update, former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker took to Twitter to write in Portuguese, “very sad news”. Elsewhere, France talisman Kylian Mbappe said, “Pray for the King.”
While receiving pain-relief medication in Albert Einstein Hospital, Pele is believed to be accompanied at his bedside by his carer and his wife, Marcia Aoki
While Pele has been unwell for many years, news of this latest upsetting development will come as a surprise after he posted a reassuring update just one day earlier. In response to a “Get well soon” message which lit up a skyscraper in Qatar, where the World Cup is being contested, he wrote on Instagram : “Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit. It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this.
Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes!”
Further, Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, who is not in Brazil, also declared that her father’s trip to hospital should not cause alarm. She wrote: “Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my dad’s health.
“He is in the hospital regulating medication. There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Year’s and promise to post some pictures.”
Pele’s former club Santos also took to Twitter on Saturday, writing: “It’s the whole world wishing you well, King.” The global icon played for the Brazilian giants between 1956 and 1974 before a brief stint with New York Cosmos, and Santos maintain he scored nearly 1,000 goals.
Pele’s official tally stands at 757 goals in 831 games, while he enjoyed World Cup triumphs with Brazil in 1958, when he was just 17 years old, 1962 and 1970. Many regard the prolific former frontman as the greatest footballer of all time and his influence in his homeland is enormous even in his old age.