According to Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital, Brazilian football legend Pelé is in stable condition after being hospitalized earlier this week for colon cancer.
Pelé, 82, has also responded well to treatment for a respiratory infection discovered this week, and his condition has not worsened in the last 24 hours, according to medical personnel.
Pelé, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday to have his cancer treatment re-evaluated.
He had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021 and has been receiving regular hospital care since then.
The latest medical note came after the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo previously reported that the soccer legend was receiving palliative care after chemotherapy failed to produce the expected results.
According to the newspaper, he was admitted to the hospital earlier this week with general swelling and cardiac issues, as previously reported by ESPN Brasil.
That information has not been confirmed by his manager, family members, or the hospital.
Pelé Thanks Fans
Pelé said in an Instagram post this week that he was at the hospital for a “monthly visit” and thanked his fans for their encouraging messages.
The former Brazil, Santos, and New York Cosmos forward shared a photo of his face projected on a building in Qatar, where the World Cup is being held, along with the message “Get well soon.”
Brazilian fans displayed a sign with the same message at the Lusail Stadium on Friday, ahead of the national team’s 1-0 loss to Cameroon.
Soccer stars such as France’s Kylian Mbappe and Brazil’s Vinicius Junior have also expressed their support for him on social media.
“He is still receiving treatment and is in stable condition,” said the medical staff.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940 in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and became better known around the world as Pelé.
His father, Joo Ramos do Nascimento, was a professional soccer player himself, but his career never brought him much money. According to legend,
Pelé’s family couldn’t afford to buy him a ball, so he stuffed socks and shaped them into the shape of a ball to kick around.
Early in his career
Despite the fact that he struggled financially in So Paulo, working a variety of jobs to support his family, the young Pelé discovered his true talent on the field. Pelé began to mature as a player on the Bauru Athletic Club juniors under the tutelage of his father and a former national team player named Waldemar de Brito. Coach de Brito recognized his talent and suggested he try out for Santos FC.
In June 1956, the team’s management agreed with de Brito’s assessment and signed Pelé. Pelé scored in his debut match just three months later. Although few people realized it at the time, this foreshadowed Pelé’s subsequent professional success.
A youngster’s stardom
Only a year later, Pelé topped the league’s scoring list. At the tender age of 17, his performance drew the attention of the national team.
He would not let you down. In his first appearance on the international stage, he scored crucial goals in both the semifinal and final matches of Brazil’s 1958 World Cup victory. He had attained superhero status in Brazil and had become a household name around the world by this point.
The Brazilian government designated him a “national treasure,” which elevated his status at home while also preventing him from taking advantage of a wide range of opportunities.
Suffering from injuries
Individually, the next two World Cups were disappointing due to injuries. The Brazilian team won the tournament in 1962, but they were eliminated in the group stage in 1966 without their star player. During this time, however, Pelé continued to shine for his club team, Santos.
He was a consistent top scorer, and he frequently faced teams that had altered their play specifically to deal with the threat he posed. Despite this, he managed to score 60 goals in 1964 and 101 goals the following year.
Retirement and reappearance
By 1970, Pelé had reportedly decided to hang up his hat and leave while he was still on top. He was eventually persuaded to play one more World Cup for Brazil in Mexico, on what many consider to be the best team in history.
Pelé’s goals and assists helped Brazil win the tournament, and he was awarded the Golden Ball for his efforts. Pelé stayed with the Brazilian team for another year before retiring in 1971.
He also said goodbye to his fans at Santos a few years later. But his playing days were far from over.
Later in his football career
Although he had previously stated that he would only ever play for Santos, he could not turn down a call from the New York Cosmos in 1975. The North American Soccer League (NASL) was a significant step down from the level of play Pelé was used to.
However, the burgeoning league benefited greatly from this ambassador of the game, and ticket sales increased. The game drew the attention of the American public, who were mostly unfamiliar with it.
Pelé won a championship with the Cosmos before retiring for good, which was commemorated by an exhibition match between his adopted New York team and Santos.
Football legacy and life after football
Pelé had amassed a string of seemingly unbreakable records by the time he retired in 1977. He had scored 1,283 goals in 1,363 matches, making him the all-time leading scorer in Brazilian national team and FIFA history.
He also managed 92 hat-tricks, which was equally impressive. He also holds the record for the most FIFA World Cup medals won by an individual, with three. However, his early years should not be overlooked.
Pelé shone brightly as the youngest player to score a hat-trick and the youngest player to score in a World Cup final.
Following his retirement, “O Rei” went on to campaign for a variety of causes, including poverty alleviation, anti-corruption campaigns, and environmental protection. He also received an honorary knighthood, served as Brazil’s Minister of Sport, and became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Of course, he continued to promote the game all over the world, including FIFA events and Olympic ceremonies. Perhaps most notably, he popularized the phrase “the beautiful game” as a shorthand for the game he adored.
Generations of fans have fantasized about playing with the grace and beauty of “The Black Pearl.” He could hit the ball with incredible accuracy or flick it to a teammate through a dense web of defenders’ legs.
In 1968, his iconic goal-scoring bicycle kick in Belgium drew young players from all over the world outside for hours of painful practice. Many of his teammates were astounded by his uncanny ability to work his way out of almost any situation with sheer skill.
The origin of the name “Pelé,” for those who have wondered, remains a mystery. Some attribute it to Pelé’s incorrect pronunciation of the name of a goalie he admired named “Bilé.”
According to this version of events, his teammates gave him the name “Pelé” half-jokingly, and he couldn’t get rid of it. Pelé has never given a definitive account of how he came up with the name.
In fact, he claimed he never liked it. The magic, like so much else in this superstar’s life, is found not in minute biographical details or trivia, but in the legacy that Pelé left on the field.
Basic Stats of Pelé
Brazil is a country.
Clubs in the forward position
FC Santos (1956-1974)
Stats for the New York Cosmos (1975-1977).
694 matches, 650 goals in club football
92 matches, 77 goals for the national team