Pele to spend Christmas in the hospital

Sao Paulo, Dec 21 (EFE).- Brazilian soccer legend Pele, diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2021, will remain hospitalized over Christmas, his daughters said Wednesday.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, 82, was admitted to Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital on Nov. 29 for an evaluation of the efficacy of his chemotherapy treatment.

Doctors extended his stay after he developed a respiratory infection.

“Our Christmas at home was suspended. We decided with the doctors, for various reasons, it will be better to remain here with all of the care,” Flavia Arantes and Kely Nascimento said on social media.

They expressed gratitude for “all the affection” directed to their father from around the world.

“The love for him, the stories and your prayers are an enormous consolation because we know we are not alone,” the daughters of the three-time World Cup champion said, promising to offer another update on Pele’s health next week.

The physicians treating the “King of Football” said that as a result of the progression of the cancer, the patient requires additional care for renal and cardiac problems, according to the hospital bulletin.

Despite his illness, Pele remained active on social media throughout the World Cup, which ended last Sunday with a victory for Argentina over reigning champions France.

In one of his latest messages, the Brazilian great congratulated Argentina and Argentine captain Lionel Messi and praised France’s Kylian Mbappe for his three-goal performance in the final.

“What a gift it was to see this spectacle for the future of our sport. And I can’t fail to congratulate (semifinalist) Morocco for their incredible campaign. It’s very good to see Africa shine. Congratulations, Argentina! Diego (Maradona) is surely smiling now,’ Pele wrote.

The tournament in Qatar featured several tributes to Pele, while supporters of his old Brazilian club, Santos FC, have mounted a vigil outside the hospital.

Pele’s family has denied press accounts that he is in the terminal phase of illness. EFE cms/dr

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