Brazilian fans have received sad news in the middle of the World Cup, their greatest idol in the history of football, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, whom they call King Pelé, is not responding to chemotherapy treatment against intestinal cancer and would be in exclusive palliative care, which means that his condition is incurable and he will only receive medications that comfort him, relieve pain and difficulties of breathing. However, at the end of the afternoon, the hospital gave the fans a breather by indicating that Pelé was not worse and that he did respond to treatment for his infection.
The scoop given by the Folha de São Paulo newspaper informs that the chemotherapy has already been suspended and Pelé does not receive any more invasive care. Pelé, 82, was admitted on Tuesday the 29th to the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital, in São Paulo, discreetly and protected by his family circle. The newspaper, which has not disclosed its sources, reported that it tried to listen to the doctors who sign the bulletin, but hospital representatives responded that the medical staff and management will only speak through official notes.
The management of the Santos Fútbol Club Youth Fans, where Pelé spent 18 years of his career, has called on its fans to show support for their greatest idol at the gate this Sunday.
«Who is King never loses his majesty! The Santos youth fan club invites our members, supporters and football lovers in general to attend a vigil on Sunday (4/12) to show support and faith in support and faith for the recovery of King Pele» , says the note that circulates in WhatsApp groups. Pelé won 27 titles with Santos, including two club world cups, two Copa Libertadores, five Brazilian championships and 11 São Paulo state titles.
Club officials and Santos’ public relations team, who have privileged information about Pelé, have not commented. According to ESPN Brasil, Pelé arrived at the hospital with a state of anasarca (generalized swelling), an edemigemic syndrome (generalized edema) and decompensated heart failure.
The artilleryman began chemotherapy in September last year, after the removal of a colon tumor, but at the beginning of the year, he was diagnosed with a metastasis in the intestine, lung and liver.
Family mystery and medical bulletins
On Friday afternoon, the hospital released a note stating that Pelé had been diagnosed with a respiratory infection that was being treated with antibiotics.
“The response has been adequate and the patient, who remains in a common room, is stable, with a general improvement in his state of health,” said the statement signed by doctors Fabio Nasri, geriatrician and endocrinologist, oncologist René Gansl and Miguel Cendoroglo Neto, medical director-superintendent of the hospital.
Pelé’s family has downplayed the seriousness of the world idol’s health. His daughter Kely Nascimento, who lives in New York, declared that there is nothing serious happening and that she should arrive at Christmas.
«The media is freaking out again and I want to come here to calm things down a bit. My father is in the hospital, he is regulating the medication. I’m not catching a flight to run there. My brothers are visiting Brazil and I am leaving for Christmas. There is no surprise or emergency. We thank you very much for all the love and affection that you transmit to us !!! », she wrote on her Instagram account.
Another daughter of the sports legend, Flávia Arantes, also spoke. «It is a mess because my father went to Einstein to take exams. I apologize for these wicked media outlets getting ahead of themselves and creating facts that don’t exist, that we don’t even know about. But yeah, he’s being scrutinized like always. Following the evolution of this cancer that he has », she stated in a video on his social networks.
Pelé himself has made publications on his social networks during the World Cup. On Monday, between Brazil’s match against Switzerland, with the score still at 0-0, he posted on Twitter that he was confident of the Brazilian victory.
On Thursday, on his Instagram, a thank you for the tribute received in Qatar, the host country of the Cup, was published, reassuring the fans. “Friends, I’m in the hospital doing my monthly visit. It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good energy.”
In addition to cancer, Pelé suffers from the consequences of other surgeries performed in recent years. Between 2012 and 2019, the former soccer player was hospitalized six other times to undergo hip, prostate and lumbar spine surgeries. He has also been through treatment for various health problems, such as kidney stones, knee problems, and urinary infections. Pelé has been seen in public in recent years in a wheelchair or with a walker. In 2016, he was physically unable to light the Olympic torch at the Rio Olympics.
The only one who has won three World Cups
Pelé is one of the great legends of football, one of the four best in history along with Di Stéfano, Cruyff and Maradona. However, the Brazilian is the only player who has three World Cups to his credit. The first was conquered in Sweden 1958, in which he had a fundamental role in his selection. He provided an assist in his only group stage appearance, and scored the winner in the quarter-final against Wales. He signed a treble in the semifinal victory against France and a double in the final against Sweden (5-2).
His second World Cup title was lifted in Chile (1962), although his contribution was more limited. After scoring and assisting in Brazil’s 2-0 opener victory, against Mexico, Pele was injured in the next game and missed the remainder of the tournament.
The third world conquest came in 1970, returning to the World Cup after swearing not to participate in the World Cup again after the harsh criticism he received four years earlier in England 1966. The star came to this event with the intention of vindicating himself and became the great leader of his team. Brazil won all their matches and in the final thrashed Italy (4-1). Pelé, who scored a goal in that game, became the first player with three World Cup titles, a number that no one has been able to match. “This was my last Cup, I am the happiest man in the world,” said O Rei after winning the triple crown.
Pelé is also the all-time top scorer for the Brazilian National Team, with 77 goals in 91 games.