An Christmas, the family of Brazilian football legend Pelé gathered at his bedside in the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo. Daughter Kely Cristina Nascimento posted a family photo on her Instagram page on Saturday evening (local time), which also includes Pelé’s wife Marcia Aoki.
“Merry Christmas. Gratitude, love, togetherness, family. The essence of Christmas. We thank you all for all the love and light you are sending. In this crazy and amazing life I would be nothing without her,” the 55-year-old captioned the photo. “In this crazy and surprising life, I would be nothing without her. Today and forever: Merry Christmas and all the best.”
“Father… my strength is yours”
Pelé’s son Edson “Edinho” Cholbi do Nascimento (52) was also hospitalized. The former goalkeeper posted a picture on Instagram holding the football legend’s hand. Below the photo is a flaming heart. He wrote: “Father… my strength is yours.” Numerous sporting personalities had previously sent Pelé well wishes, including the Brazilian internationals at the World Cup when they held up a poster after the round of 16.
IOC President Thomas Bach sent a greeting. “Pelé, our thoughts are with you,” wrote the 68-year-old 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 Order in his hometown of Santos.
Pele won three World Cups with Brazil
The Albert Einstein Hospital announced on Wednesday that Pele’s cancer was progressing and that he needed more intensive care due to kidney and heart problems. The three-time world champion has been in the hospital since November 29 to reset chemotherapy for a colon tumor. According to media reports, Pelé’s chemotherapy has recently failed.
In September last year, Pelé had a tumor removed from his colon that doctors discovered during a routine examination. After the operation, Pelé was initially treated in the intensive care unit. He had to stay in the hospital for about a month after the operation. After that, Pelé was repeatedly in the hospital for chemotherapy.
Pelé’s health has repeatedly raised concerns in recent years. He underwent several hip surgeries. He also had problems with his spine and knees. Two years ago he had a kidney stone removed after a urinary tract infection. Pelé played 92 international matches and won three World Cup titles with Brazil’s national team (1958, 1962, 1970).