Football legend Pele has said he feels “strong” and has “a lot of hope” as he receives hospital treatment in his battle with colon cancer.
The 82-year-old posted on Instagram following a bulletin from Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he was admitted earlier this week so doctors could re-evaluate his care.
“My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive,” said the Brazilian.
“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.
“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.”
The hospital’s medical bulletin revealed that Pele was in a stable condition and had responded well to treatment for a respiratory infection, which was diagnosed upon his admission.
It came following a report in one of the city’s newspapers that he was being moved to palliative care after the chemotherapy he was undergoing for colon cancer stopped having the expected results.
But the hospital said his condition has not worsened over the last 24 hours.
The reporting by Folha de S.Paulo on Saturday, picked up by the world’s media, sparked an outpouring of well-wishes from across football, including England captain Harry Kane.
“First and foremost, we send our best wishes to him and his family as well,” he said at a World Cup news conference.
“He’s an inspiration in our game, an incredible footballer and an incredible person.”
Asked about the advice Pele had given him, in which he urged the Tottenham striker to never believe he is the best player in the world and keep learning, Kane said: “To hear those words back then from him was really special for me.
“And I always feel like I’m someone who is always learning and will continue to learn for the rest of my career, so he was spot on with his advice.
“Of course, sad to hear that news, but we wish him well, not just me but the whole England set-up as well.”
French football player Kylian Mbappe tweeted “Pray for the King” along with a crown and tagged Pele in his post.
The messages came after Folha de S.Paulo reported that Pele was no longer receiving treatment for his cancer, but would now only be treated for symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath.
The newspaper said he had a general swelling and cardiac issues when admitted to hospital earlier this week, a detail previously reported by ESPN Brasil.
Pele was taken to hospital in Sao Paolo on Tuesday to evaluate his cancer treatment after he had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021.
On Thursday, he thanked concerned fans for their messages.
“It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this,” he posted on Instagram.
“Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes.”