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Pelé 'Responding Well' to Respiratory Infection Treatment, Condition Hasn't Worsened

Adam WellsDecember 3, 2022

FILE - Brazilian Pele attends the 2018 soccer World Cup draw at the Kremlin in Moscow, Dec. 1, 2017. Pele was hospitalized once more in Sao Paulo to continue his colon tumor treatment. Hospital Albert Einstein said in a statement on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, that the 81-year-old soccer legend is “stable and expected to be released in the next few days.” (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File

Brazilian soccer icon Pelé is "responding well" to treatment for a respiratory infection, according to a statement from Albert Einstein hospital (h/t ESPN.com) released on Saturday.

Pelé issued a statement of his own to address the speculation about his health, writing on Instagram he is feeling "strong" and following the treatment plan laid out by his medical team.

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Pelé released a statement on his health ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/lmmO1j8iWd">pic.twitter.com/lmmO1j8iWd</a>

Kely Nascimento, Pelé's daughter, said in an Instagram post on Nov. 30 her father was "in the hospital regulating medication" and there was "no emergency or new dire prediction" about his health.

Pedro Ivo Almeida of ESPN Brasil (h/t ESPN.com) reported before Nascimento's post that Pelé had been admitted to the hospital with "generalized swelling" and has been undergoing tests to get a more in-depth assessment of his health issues.

The hospital's statement noted Pelé was admitted to the hospital "for a reassessment of his chemotherapy for his colon tumor, which was diagnosed in September 2021." He is still receiving treatment and his condition "remains stable."

Pelé underwent surgery in September 2021 to remove a tumor on the right side of his colon. He continued to undergo chemotherapy treatments through the end of last year and start of this year after the surgical procedure.

The 82-year-old Pelé is widely regarded as one of the best athletes of the 20th century. He played for Brazil in the World Cup four different times from 1958-70, winning the tournament in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

His 12 career World Cup goals are the fifth-most in history. He's also the country's all-time career leader in goals scored with 77 in 91 caps.

In addition to his international career, Pelé had an outstanding 18-year run with Santos FC from 1956-74. He racked up 1,091 goals and led the club to 21 titles. He joined New York Cosmos in the United States for two years from 1975-77 before retiring at the age of 36.

Pelé has been inducted into the International Football Hall of Fame and U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame. He was included on Time's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century list that was released in 1999.