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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

“Another Night Together”: Pelé’s Family Gathers at Hospital

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The family of Brazilian football legend Pelé has assembled at a hospital in So Paulo, raising fears about the 82-year-deteriorating old’s health. This week, two of his daughters have been by his side at the Albert Einstein hospital. On Saturday, his son Edinho arrived from Londrina, 540 kilometers away, where he manages a second-division team.

Kely Nascimento, one of his daughters, posted a picture of herself cuddling her father on his hospital bed with the caption, “We’re still here, fighting and with faith. One more evening together.” Her sister Flavia Arantes do Nascimento also shared the image on social media, which depicted her sleeping on a couch.

Edinho tweeted a photo of himself clutching the hand of his father. He wrote, “Dad … my strength is yours”.

Pelé was admitted to the hospital on November 29 for difficulties due to his colon cancer, which was initially detected in September 2021. Since then, he has had chemotherapy, but physicians have provided scant specifics about his condition. In addition, he got Covid-19 earlier this month, and doctors said on Wednesday that the malignancy had “progressed, necessitating additional therapy for renal and cardiac dysfunctions”.

It was unclear how many individuals were at the hospital, as Pelé has been married three times and has additional children. However, the news that his children were reuniting sparked fears that he was reaching the end of his life.

Since Wednesday, the hospital has not commented on Pelé’s condition. On Saturday, soccer fans from over the world shared their recollections of the player and argued his place in the pantheon of soccer legends.

With the emergence of Diego Maradona in the 1980s, Pelé’s reputation as the best player of all time was hotly challenged, despite the fact that he held the title for the majority of his career. 

Lionel Messi‘s recent records, most notably capturing his first World Cup triumph last weekend, have also raised his standing. Fans of Pelé, however, refer to his three World Cup victories in 1958, 1962, and 1970, the first of which he won at the age of 17 by scoring six goals in the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final.

He went on to transform Santos into one of the best club teams in history, winning every possible title. He retired in 1974 but returned to play for the then-emerging North American soccer league’s New York Cosmos.

Pele’s record of 1,281 goals scored in 1,363 games remains unmatched.

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