Pelé, who is a soccer legend, will spend the Christmas holidays in a hospital after learning his cancer has progressed.
The three-time World Cup winner, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has been undergoing chemotherapy in his battle against cancer since September 2021 when he had a colon tumor removed.
His daughter, Kelly Cristina Nascimento, took to Instagram on Thursday to share the change of plans for the holidays, writing, “Our Christmas at home has been suspended. We decided with the doctors that, for various reasons, it would be better for us to stay here with all the care that this new family at Einstein gives us!!”
“We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world! Your love for him and your stories and prayers are a HUGE comfort because we know we are not alone,” she added. “We are going to turn this room into a Sambódromo(just kidding), we will even make caipirinhas (not kidding!!). We wish everyone who celebrates a Christmas that filled with family, full of children, some fighting and TONS of Love and Health!!”
The Brazilian soccer star is being treated at the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo. In a statement on Wednesday, hospital officials said that his cancer has advanced and is under “elevated care” related to “kidney and cardiac dysfunctions,” the Associated Press reported.
At the beginning of December, two of his daughters said that the soccer star had been hospitalized to treat a respiratory infection aggravated by COVID-19. At that time, the AP reported that the hospital said Pelé was responding well to treatment for the infection, but in the latest update, the AP reported that the hospital did not mention any signs of the former athlete’s recent respiratory infection.
Earlier this month, the legend himself also posted on social media, thanking all his fans for the positivity and well-wishes.
“My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive. 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,” Pelé wrote 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! Thank you so much for everything.”
Pelé, who is one of the most notable soccer players in the world, played professionally in Brazil for two decades. During that time, he was part of Brazilian national teams that won three World Cup championships in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Later in his career, he joined the New York Cosmos. The soccer superstar was also named FIFA co-Player of the Century in 1999.