In an interview aired on TV Globo on Sunday night, Pelé’s daughters said the Brazilian soccer star was hospitalized in Sao Paulo last week after contracting a lung infection after contracting Covid-19.
“He’s sick, he’s old, but at the moment he’s there with pneumonia and when he’s better he’ll go home. He’s not saying goodbye at the hospital at the moment,” said Kely Nascimento, daughter of Pelé’s daughter.
She added: “Three weeks ago he had Covid. He’s vaccinated at all doses, but because of the cancer drugs, the chemotherapy that makes him more vulnerable, he got pneumonia and that’s why he had to go to the hospital.”
His other daughter Flavia said Pelé is not in intensive care and not at risk as he is undergoing treatment. She reiterated that her father was not terminal or in palliative care.
On Saturday, the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo issued a statement saying Pelé was in stable condition after being admitted to a Sao Paulo hospital on Tuesday to undergo a “reevaluation of chemotherapy treatment in im Colon cancer identified September 2021”.
The hospital added that he is “responding well to treatment for respiratory infections and has shown no deterioration in his condition over the past 24 hours.”
Brazil meets South Korea in the World Cup Round of 16 at the 974 Stadium in Doha on Monday.
Before the game, Brazil coach Tite and assistant coach César Sampaio spoke about working with Pelé.
“That’s possibly the only person I actually shook when I greeted him,” Tite said at a media conference on Sunday.
“I speak from the bottom of my heart, a very emotional moment for me. ”
Assistant coach Sampaio added: “I also had… the blessing. I was a player who played at Santos, the same club as Pelé, and I sometimes had the opportunity to interact with him. When I was playing for the national team for the first time, I had the opportunity to play with Pele.
“It was something like even more than what Tite said … talking to him and interacting with him on the pitch. It was so difficult, you know, because of what he is, what he represents.
“It’s something I never thought would happen in my life and this is a moment where we can do anything, regardless of your religion.
“We are asking of you all please say a prayer, do what you are doing and please send him very positive vibes. He’s a person who has influenced my development, not just as an athlete, but as a man and as a person.”
In an Instagram post, Pelé said he would be watching Brazil’s game against South Korea from the hospital.
“I will cheer for each and every one of you,” Pele wrote. “We are on this journey together. Good luck to our Brazil!
“In 1958 I was walking the streets of Sweden thinking about fulfilling the promise I had made to my father. I know that many from the national team have made similar promises and are also aiming for their first World Cup.”
Pelé won his first world title in 1958 before securing two more tournament wins in 1962 and 1970.