fSoccer legend Pelé has responded to a media report about his allegedly critical health with a social media statement intended to express confidence. “My friends, I want everyone to remain calm and positive. I’m strong, I have a lot of hope and I’m sticking to my therapy as usual,” the 82-year-old Brazilian’s Instagram account sent to his more than ten million followers on Saturday evening.
“I would like to thank the entire medical and nursing team for the care I received. I firmly believe in God and every message of love I receive from all over the world gives me new strength.” The statement concluded with a request: “Watch Brazil at the World Cup! Many thanks for everything.”
The newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo had previously reported that Pelé’s chemotherapy for colon cancer was no longer having the desired effect. “O Rei”, the king, is now being treated with palliative care. Palliative medicine is dedicated to the treatment of people with advanced disease whose life expectancy is estimated to be low. The report from the well-known newspaper went around the world correspondingly quickly.
France’s top striker Kylian Mbappe called on Twitter to “pray” for the “king”, England’s captain Harry Kane spoke of “sad news”, on the facades of several glittering buildings in the World Cup host country Qatar, get well wishes were again projected on Saturday.
Pelé’s treating doctors only commented in a bulletin on Saturday evening on the status of the respiratory infection that the idol developed during his hospital stay: “The clinical picture has not worsened in the last 24 hours,” it said.
Pelé was admitted earlier this week to what his doctors said was a “re-evaluation” of the chemotherapy he’s been undergoing since the removal of a colon tumor in September last year.
Brazil’s fans had wished the world champions of 1958, 1962 and 1970 a “get well soon” with a huge banner on Friday before the Seleção’s last World Cup preliminary round match against Cameroon (0-1).