Brazil soccer legend Pele, 80, is in a “stable” condition after “respiratory instability” early on Friday led to him being admitted to an intensive care unit, Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital said in a statement.
Concerns grew about Pele’s health on Friday after local media reported that he had returned to an ICU that he had only just left earlier this week as he recovers from a colon tumor removal.
The hospital said Pele “presented a brief respiratory instability” and was admitted to an ICU as a “preventive measure.” After he was stabilized, it said he had been moved to “semi-intensive care” and was now “stable from a cardiovascular and respiratory point of view.”
Seeking to assuage people’s fears about the health of a soccer legend whom many consider to be the greatest player in history, Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, said on Instagram that he was “recovering well … I promise!”
She added: “The normal recovery scenario for a man of his age after an operation like this is sometimes two steps forward and one step back.”
Pele re-enters ICU due to reflux, ESPN Brasil reports
Brazil soccer legend Pele has re-entered an intensive care unit at Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital, ESPN Brasil reported on Friday, in an apparent deterioration of his health after he left the unit earlier this week.
The hospital and Pele’s representative in Santos said they could not confirm the news.
ESPN Brasil said the three-time World Cup winner was re-admitted to the ICU due to acid reflux. The 80-year-old had a colon tumor removed this month and stayed in the hospital for further monitoring.
After he was transferred out of the ICU on Tuesday, Pele posted a smiling image on Instagram with the message he was ready for “90 minutes, plus extra time.”
A star for Santos, Brazil and the New York Cosmos, Pele is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
He retired from the game in 1977, and his health has been a source of concern to family and fans in recent years.
He has suffered from hip problems for years and cannot walk unaided. In 2014 he spent some time in the ICU due to a severe urinary tract infection.
Last year, Pele’s son said his father suffered from bouts of depression, something the star later denied.
His public appearances were already being cut before the COVID-19 pandemic and since then he has made few unnecessary forays outside his house near Santos.