Brazil soccer legend Pele, who was hospitalized this week amid cancer treatments, has developed a respiratory infection but is in stable condition and “showing general improvement,” his doctors said on Friday.
The 82-year-old icon, who has been in frail health in recent years, was hospitalized in Sao Paulo on Tuesday for what doctors said was a “re-evaluation” of the chemotherapy he has been undergoing since undergoing surgery to remove a colon tumor in September 2021. .
“The medical team diagnosed him with a respiratory infection, which is being treated with antibiotics,” the hospital said in a statement.
“The patient’s response has been adequate, and he remains in the standard room,” not in intensive care, he said.
“He is stable and his health is showing general improvement. He will remain in the hospital for the next few days to continue his treatment.”
Pele’s public appearances are becoming rarer, but he maintains an active presence on social media.
On Thursday, he took to Instagram to thank well-wishers for their messages, posting a photo of the World Cup country of Qatar, where his photo was projected onto a skyscraper.
“It’s always nice to receive such positive messages. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes! she wrote, describing her hospital stay as a routine visit.
Pele received more messages of support ahead of Brazil’s World Cup match against five-time champions Cameroon on Friday.
Fans at the Lusail Stadium held up a giant green-and-yellow banner with a picture of Pele in his iconic number 10 jersey and the message “Get Well Soon”.
The same message appeared on the boulevard outside the stadium.
Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, Edson Arantes do Nascimento – Pele’s real name – is the only player in history to have won three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).