Pele is showing signs of ‘progressive improvement’ after being treated for a respiratory infection at a hospital in Sao Paulo.
Brazilian publication Globo have reported that the legendary figure’s condition is improving after he was taken to hospital for tests.
They add that the 82-year-old is showing ‘stable signs, is ‘conscious’ and is ‘without further complications.’
The 82-year-old, who won the World Cup in his career three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970, was admitted to hospital to treat a respiratory infection that was aggravated by Covid.
Despite initial concerns that he was close to death, his daughters Flavia and Kely Nascimento quickly moved to rubbish those reports and said he is ‘sick’ but is still supporting Brazil in their bid to win the World Cup.
The former Brazil striker had been moved to palliative care after his chemotherapy to treat colon cancer had been suspended.
Brazilian reports have claimed that Pele is showing signs of improvement in hospital
Pele is one of the greatest footballers of all time and won three World Cups with Brazil
But an update from the doctors treating him in Sao Paulo on Saturday presented a more positive picture.
‘He is still undergoing treatment and the state of health remains stable. He has also had a good response to respiratory infection care, with no worsening of the condition in the last 24 hours,’ the doctors said.
A tweet was published from Pele’s official account on Monday as he wished Brazil good luck ahead of their 4-1 last-16 victory over South Korea.
In the message which included a photo of him as a young man, it read: ‘In 1958, I walked the streets thinking about fulfilling the promise I made to my father.
‘I know that today many have made similar promises and are also going in search of their first World Cup.
‘I’ll be watching the hospital game and I’ll be rooting for each one of you. Good luck!’
Pele (right) pictured with his daughter Flavia Nascimento (left) on Instagram in October
Pele is considered Brazil’s greatest ever player and fans in Qatar showed their support for him by unfurling banners inside the stadium when they played Cameroon in their final group stage match.
Similar demonstrations are expected for as long as Brazil are still in the tournament, with France superstar Kylian Mbappe among those tweeting about Pele as ‘the King’.
His grandson Arthur revealed last week that they have been fiercely debating the matches over the phone.
He said Pele missed injured star Neymar in Brazil’s latest two matches in Qatar – a 1-0 win against Switzerland and a 1-0 defeat against Cameroon, both in the group stage.
Arthur added that Pele is concerned about Brazil’s creativity without Neymar.
He said: ‘He thinks that [Brazil] is playing good football. Without Neymar it’s difficult.
‘Even he says that, that he can’t create as much, but that with Neymar he can attack more. He thinks that Brazil is playing well and manages to get the sixth.’
Claims of Pele being moved to ‘end-of-life’ care prompted a swift and fierce response from his daughters.
Pele sent a message of good luck to Brazil’s players as he prepares to watch their last-16 tie
He took to Twitter with a message of support for Brazil’s current stars, along with an old photo
Speaking to Fantastico, Kely explained: ‘About three weeks ago he got Covid. He is vaccinated, with all the vaccines, but because of the cancer medicine, the chemotherapy, which is fragile, he got a lung infection.
‘That’s why he went to the hospital, because of the lung infection. Is he serious? It’s serious, because he’s a certain age, he’s treating cancer.’
Flavia went on to explain how the hospital was the best place for Pele to get the care he needed but insisted the 82-year-old was not in intensive care.
She said: ‘At the hospital, he is better assisted. But he’s not in the ICU, he’s in a normal room. So he’s not at risk. As a person with a more delicate health, it is better to be in the hospital.’
Brazil players held a banner showing support for Pele after their 4-1 win over South Korea
Kely added: ‘People send me their condolences (on social networks). I say I’m going to put the phone down and I’m not going to answer anyone.
‘I just feel like I have to respond to people. Not to tell everything, but to say that it is not like that. We are not rushing there to say goodbye.
‘We’re taking turns, he’s sick, he’s old, but he’s there because of a lung infection. He’s on antibiotics and when he gets better he’ll go home again. He’s not saying goodbye at the hospital.’