Self development

Pele responding well to treatment for respiratory infection

By John Marchesan and The Associated Press

Posted Dec 3, 2022, 1:46PM EST.Last Updated Dec 4, 2022, 7:07AM EST.
Brazilian soccer great Pele is responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection and his health condition has not worsened over the latest 24 hours, the Albert Einstein hospital said Saturday.

Newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported Saturday that Pele’s chemotherapy was not working and that doctors had decided to put him on palliative care. The Associated Press could not confirm that information.

Neither his family nor the hospital has said whether the cancer had spread to other organs.

The 82-year-old Pele has been at the hospital since Tuesday.

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“I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual. I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for all the care I have received,” Pele said in a statement posted on Instagram. “I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you all over the world keeps me full of energy. And watch Brazil in the World Cup, too.”

Get well messages have poured in from around the world for the three-time World Cup winner, who is also undergoing cancer treatment. Kely Nascimento, Pele’s daughter, posted several pictures on Instagram from Brazil fans in Qatar wishing her father well with flags and banners. Buildings in the Middle Eastern nation also displayed messages in support of the former soccer great.

Brazil will face South Korea at the World Cup on Monday in the round of 16.

The Albert Einstein hospital said Friday that Pele is getting antibiotics to treat an infection at the same time he undergoes chemotherapy against cancer. Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, had a colon tumor removed in September 2021.

ESPN Brasil reported Wednesday that Pele was taken to the hospital because of “general swelling.”

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is the only player in history to win three World Cup titles, helping Brazil to trophies the 1958, 1962 and 1970. He remains the team’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.


CNN’s Don Riddell spoke with fans about Pele in Doha, Qatar on Saturday, with one American saying that his first ever game was watching the Brazilian star in 1975 in Washington, DC. Pelé played for the New York Cosmos between 1975 and 1977.

The fan, who said he’s been to 11 World Cups, said Pele changed his life.

“Watching him was the first professional game I ever saw in 75 and because of that, one of the reasons this is my 11th World Cup,” Clifton Broumand told CNN.

“I’ve been going since Spain, because that really hooked me, watching him and his ability hooked me to coming and watching soccer and the World Cup,” added Broumand.

Pele career goals
When it comes to Pele’s career goals, various numbers have been seen. This includes his strikes in youth-level football, friendlies, exhibition matches and others, apart from his official tally

While the number was never a significant stat in modern football, it becomes a bone of contention since the Guinness Book of World Records recognises Pele as the player with the most career goals in football.

“The most goals scored in a specified period is 1,279 by Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Brazil), known as Pele, from 7 September 1956 to 1 October 1977 in 1,363 games. His best year was 1959 with 126, and the Milesimo (1000th goal) came from a penalty for his club Santos at the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, on 19 November 1969 when playing his 909th first-class match. He later added two more goals in special appearances,” the Guinness World Record site notes.

The site also adds that Brazilian Artur Friedenreich scored an ‘undocumented’ 1,329 goals in a 26-year first-class football career, between 1909 and 1935.

Meanwhile, FIFA, the world governing body for football, and CONMEBOL, the South American football federation, used to put Pele’s tally at 1,281, taking into account the two goals in ‘special appearances’ for Santos after his official retirement that the Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t count.

FIFA, however, has started to use ‘more than 1,200’ to refer to Pele’s goals tally in recent years.

Pele himself, meanwhile, puts his own goals tally at 1,283.

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