Pele’s body stops responding to chemotherapy. Mbappe: “Pray for the King”
Pele has been moved to palliative end-of-life care in hospital, according to reports. The footballing icon, 82, is said to no longer be responding to chemotherapy as he battles with bowel cancer.
Pele was taken into hospital on Tuesday and now Folha in Sao Paulo state he will no longer be subjected to invasive tests or treatment. The three-time World Cup winner – widely considered as one of the greatest footballers ever – has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment since September 2021.
He had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon last year and had numerous visits to ICU during the stay and continued to be treated regularly, including another chemo treatment just before Christmas.
Earlier this year, it was diagnosed that the cancer cells had spread to his intestine, lung and liver. In February, he spent two weeks in hospital for further treatment on the cancer – as well as a urinary tract infection.
The latest Folha report states that his chemo has now been suspended at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo – but Pele continues to receive pain relief. Palliative care is used for patients with potentially life-threatening illnesses and diseases.
Pele’s latest hospital admission was due to general swelling and reported heart failure. However, an update from his daughter Kely reassured supporters around the world that there was “no cause for alarm”.
The hospital issued their own statement to confirm Pele had been treated with antibiotics for a respiratory infection and his condition was described as “stable”. The doctors added that the former forward would remain in hospital for the coming days for treatment.
Pele announced himself to the global scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes.
Injuries impacted his tournaments in 1962 and 1966 but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest international team of all time.
Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977, although club Santos claim his tally was closer to 1,000.
His beloved Brazilian fans showed their support at Friday’s World Cup game against Cameroon, unfurling banners and tifos sending Pele their best wishes. And Qatar even lit up a building with a “get well soon” message.
Then French superstar Kylian Mbappe tweeted: “Pray for the King,” with emojis of a crown, praying hands and the Brazil flag.