According to a statement from the hospital on Saturday, soccer stars past and present have taken to social media to wish Pele well as the Brazilian great’s health remains stable.
She [Pelé] Israel’s Albert Einstein Hospital said in a statement: “He has shown a good response to care for the respiratory infection and has not shown any deterioration in his condition in the past 24 hours.”
Earlier on Saturday, local Brazilian media reported that Pele’s health had worsened.
The 82-year-old former footballer, one of the greatest players of all time, was admitted to a São Paulo hospital on Tuesday to re-evaluate his cancer treatment after having a tumor removed from Pele’s colon in September 2021.
Pele took to Instagram on Thursday to thank fans for the positive messages and “good vibes” he had received.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe urged his Twitter followers to “pray for the king” – a reference to the Brazilian great’s nickname – by tagging Pele in his tweet on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Brazilian soccer star Vinicius Jr., who plays for the Qatar 2022 national team, and former Brazil great Rivaldo took to social media to urge the legend to “stay strong.”
The 82-year-old’s former club Santos FC added: “The whole world … is with you, King of Pele!”, while football’s governing body FIFA told the star to “get well soon.”
In December 2021, Pele was hospitalized and undergoing chemotherapy. In September of that year, he underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his right colon that doctors discovered during a routine exam.
Pele is considered one of the best players in the history of football.
He played in four World Cups, winning three in 1958, 1962, and 1970, scoring 12 goals in 14 games. He scored 1281 goals in 1363 games in his career.
CNN’s Don Riedel spoke to fans in Doha, Qatar, about Pele on Saturday, and one American said his first game was watching the Brazilian star in 1975 in Washington, D.C. Pele played for the New York Cosmos between 1975 and 1977.
The fan, who said he has attended 11 World Cups, said Pele changed his life.
“Watching him was the first professional game I saw in ’75 and that’s one of the reasons this was my 11th World Cup,” Clifton Broumand told CNN.
“I’ve gone from Spain because it really attracted me, watching him and his abilities made me come and watch football and the World Cup,” Broumand added.