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"I'm strong, very hopeful" - Pele posts message after worrying stories about his health

Ryan Sidle

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"I'm strong, very hopeful" - Pele posts message after worrying stories about his health

Pele has come out with a fighting statement, amidst reports that he's been moved to end of life palliative care in hospital, as he battles bowel cancer.

Earlier in the week, it was confirmed that the Brazil legend had been rushed to hospital due to swelling in his body, heart issues and 'mental confusion.'

It is not the first time that the 82-year-old has been in hospital in the past couple of years, with his health unsurprisingly a greater issue in his later years.

He has been receiving treatment for bowel cancer in recent times and has been having chemotherapy in the past few months.

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On Saturday there were worrying reports that the three time World Cup winner had been moved to end of life palliative care in the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo.

Amongst those were reports it was claimed that his cancer was no longer responding to the chemotherapy treatment, and "won't be subjected to invasive tests or treatment."

There had been no official word from the former Santos star since the news first broke of his latest stay in hospital, but he has now put out a statement.

On Saturday night, the former striker said he wanted everyone to be calm and claimed that he was still feeling 'strong.'

"My friends I want to keep everyone calm and positive thinking. I'm strong, very hopeful, and following my treatment as usual," the statement read.

"I want to thank the whole medical and nursing team, for all the zeal I've been receiving. I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you, coming all over the world, keeps me full of energy.

"And watch Brazil in the World Cup too! Thank you so much for everything."

Brazil fans at the World Cup show support for Pele. Image: Alamy
Brazil fans at the World Cup show support for Pele. Image: Alamy

The football legend is considered one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, even if modern fans consider him to be somewhat of a 'fraud.'

He is the only player to have won the World Cup three times, and was an extremely important part of the three sides in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

The last side he won the tournament with is considered one of the greatest international teams in football history, and he scored the opening goal in the final vs Italy.

He also helped lead Santos to two Copa Libertadores titles in his club career and broke many individual records during his career.

Pele with the Jules Rimet trophy which Brazil were awarded permanently after winning it for the third time in 1970. Image: Alamy
Pele with the Jules Rimet trophy which Brazil were awarded permanently after winning it for the third time in 1970. Image: Alamy

The current Brazil side are trying to win the World Cup for the sixth time in the country's history, and the first time since 2002, as they look to end two decades without winning it, only the third time that's happened since 1930.

After winning their first two group games, Tite's side were one of the first teams to qualify, before losing their final game to Cameroon, with Vincent Aboubakar sent off for his celebration.

They have to go into the knockout stages without Gabriel Jesus, after it was confirmed on Saturday that the Arsenal forward would be out for the rest of the tournament.

They'll be hoping that Neymar can return to the starting line up soon enough as well, after missing the final two group games with his own injury.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Football World Cup, Pele, Brazil

Ryan Sidle
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