Legendary Brazilian striker Pele is reluctant to leave his home because he cannot walk without help, said his son.
The three-time World Cup winner, widely considered the greatest player of all time, was taken to hospital with a urinary infection last year.
79-year-old Pele has had hip problems for some time and now needs a walking frame, with many of his recent public appearances in a wheelchair.
“He is very embarrassed, lonely,” said his son Edinho on TV Globo.
Pele has scored a world record of 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during his 21-year career, including 77 goals in 91 appearances for Brazil.
His health has been a concern in recent years and he underwent prostate surgery in 2015 after being hospitalized for the second time in six months.
“Imagine, he is the king, he has always been such an imposing figure and today he cannot walk properly,” explained Edinho.
“He is embarrassed, he doesn’t want to go out, be seen or do practically everything that implies leaving the house.
“He is quite fragile. He had a hip replacement and did not have adequate or ideal rehabilitation. So he has this problem with mobility and that has triggered a kind of depression.”
This June marks the 50th anniversary of the last Pelé World Cup title, won in Mexico with what many believe to be the greatest team of all time.
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