Dhe family of the seriously ill Brazilian football icon Pelé experiences “difficult to explain” moments in the hospital. “Sometimes it’s a lot of sadness and despair, other moments we’re laughing and talking about funny memories,” Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram on Wednesday alongside a photo. “And what we learn the most is that we need to seek each other, hold on to each other. That’s the only way it’s worth it. All together.”
Pelé, the 1958, 1962 and 1970 world champion, has been in the hospital since November 29. The Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital had announced that it had been diagnosed with a progression of the cancer and that the 82-year-old needed more intensive care due to kidney and heart problems. According to media reports, the chemotherapy should not have worked recently.
“One more night together”
There were no official diagnoses this week. Kely Nascimento had repeatedly published pictures of family members from the hospital room in the past few days. Like the one on Christmas Eve, when she hugs Pelé, who is lying in a hospital bed. The closest family circle spent the Christmas days with him in the hospital.
The moving images increased concern for the “king” of football. “We carry on here, in struggle and in faith. One more night together, ”wrote the daughter in the hours of Christmas Eve on Instagram. “Merry Christmas. Gratitude, love, togetherness, family. The essence of Christmas. Thank you all for all the love and light you are sending,” she wrote alongside a photo, which also includes Pele’s wife, Marcia Aoki.
Rekordtorschütze der Seleção
Pelé’s son Edson “Edinho” Cholbi do Nascimento (52) also came to visit. The former goalkeeper posted a picture of himself holding his father’s hand on Instagram. Below the photo is a flaming heart. He wrote: “Father … my strength is yours.” Brazil’s current star Neymar paid tribute to Pelé in a video that Kely Nascimento published on Instagram. “As you know, Pelé is part of my story,” said Neymar, among other things.
The “King” (“O Rei”) had shaped football during his active career and far beyond it like no other. The world governing body FIFA had named him – like the Argentinian Diego Maradona – the “Player of the 20th Century”. With 77 goals in 92 international matches, Pelé is still the Seleção’s all-time record goalscorer. It is a very small circle of the best, the most important of this sport, to which only very few belong next to the “king” and Maradona. The names of Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff and Lionel Messi fall into the discussion.
Pelé’s congratulations to Messi on Argentina’s World Cup triumph in Qatar is the last entry on his own Instagram page so far. “Diego is certainly smiling now,” said the trophy picture with Messi, alluding to Maradona, who died at the end of November 2020.
Pele’s concerns extend far beyond football. In his home country, the 82-year-old is revered like hardly any other personality. “Pelé, our thoughts are with you,” wrote IOC President Thomas Bach (68) on Twitter: “I wish you all the best with all my heart.” In 2016, the head of the International Olympic Committee awarded Pelé the Olympic medal in his hometown of Santos . In the same year the summer games took place in Rio de Janeiro.