Global football icon Pele has been moved to palliative care as he has become unresponsive to chemotherapy in his battle with cancer, according to reports in his native Brazil.
The 82-year-old, who was taken to hospital last week, is receiving pain relief in an end-of-life ward as the treatment for his bowel cancer has stopped working. Pele was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo on Tuesday with symptoms of ‘general swelling’ and ‘heart failure’.
Later that week, Pele moved to reassure fans that his visit was only routine. A post on Pele’s Instagram account looked to allay any serious worries. Attached to a photograph of a ‘get well soon’ message displayed on buildings at the World Cup in Qatar, the Brazil great wrote: “Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit.
“It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes!”
Albert Einstein Hospital also released a statement confirming Pele had been diagnosed with a respiratory infection which required antibiotics. They said his condition was stable.
Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, insisted on Tuesday that her father’s trip to hospital was nothing to warrant “emergency”, writing 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 Year’s and promise to post some pictures.”
Despite his reassuring message and the encouraging updates, Folha de Sao Paulo reported on Saturday that Pele has become unresponsive to the chemotherapy treatment he has received for months to tackle bowel cancer. The report adds the former striker will not undergo invasive tests or treatment as he has been admitted to a ward for those with life-threatening diseases or conditions, or who require end-of-life care.
Pele is also being attended by his carer and his wife, Marcia Aoki, is said to be by his bedside.
In response to Saturday’s sad news, France superstar Kylian Mbappe wrote on Twitter, “Pray for the King,” while BBC presenter Gary Lineker wrote in Portuguese, “very sad news”.