Pele in hospital after suffering series of health issues

Pele in hospital after suffering series of health issues - Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters
Pele in hospital after suffering series of health issues - Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Pele has been admitted to hospital as he continues to battle cancer – but his family has played down a report that left fans fearing the worst.

The three-time World Cup winner was being treated at Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo in news first reported by ESPN Brasil.

That report described his admission as unscheduled and went on to chronicle what appeared to be a major deterioration in his health.

But his wife, Marcia Aoki, reportedly said the 82-year-old had been admitted for exams and monthly analysis of chemotherapy, while his daughter, Kely Nascimento, later posted on Instagram: “Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my dad’s health. He is in the hospital regulating medication.

“There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Years and promise to post some pictures.”

Pele, 82, had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021 and has since been in and out of the hospital for treatment on a regular basis.

His last reported admission to hospital came in April, a visit that was confirmed by doctors.

Pele’s latest visit was described by ESPN Brasil as having been due to “general swelling”, with the report going on to chronicle cardiac issues and concerns about the effectiveness of his chemotherapy.

It also said he had been struggling to eat and been diagnosed with mental confusion upon entering hospital.

Serious concerns for his health first arose last year after a tumour was detected during a routine examination.

Pele wrote on Instagram at the time: “Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in the right colon. The tumor was identified during the tests I mentioned last week.

“Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you. I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”