Pelé Receiving 'Elevated Care' for Heart, Kidneys as Condition Worsens, Doctors Say

Erin WalshDecember 21, 2022

Brazilian fans hold a banner showing the Brazilian soccer legend Pele with the message 'Get well soon' during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and South Korea at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Pele is in a hospital in San Paulo recovering from a respiratory infection. (AP Photo/Jin-Man Lee)
AP Photo/Jin-Man Lee

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, formally known as Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has seen his health worsen during his stay at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo, doctors said Wednesday, per Mauricio Savarese of the Associated Press.

Pelé's cancer has advanced and he is under "elevated care" because of issues with his kidneys and heart.

The 82-year-old was diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2021, when he had a tumor removed. He has been in and out of the hospital since for regular cancer treatment.

However, he was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 29 to reevaluate his medication and treatment.

Kely Nascimento, Pelé's daughter, announced on Instagram that he would stay in the hospital through Christmas.

"We decided with doctors that, for many reasons, it will be best for us to stay here, with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us," she said. "We will even make some caipirinhas (no kidding). We love you and we will give up an update next week."

The news comes after a medical report on Dec. 12 noted that Pelé's condition was improving but that there was no timetable for his departure from the hospital.

Pelé led Brazil to three World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He is tied with Neymar as the country's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 games. Neymar scored his 77th goal for Brazil during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Brazilian national team paid tribute to Pelé after they defeated South Korea in the Round of 16 in Qatar, holding up a banner with his name and picture on it.