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Past and present football stars have been wishing Pelé well on social media after local media reports in Brazil that his health had worsened
The 82-year-old former footballer, who is one of the greatest players of all time, was admitted to a hospital in Sao Paulo on Tuesday to re-evaluate his cancer treatment after Pelé had a tumor removed from his colon in September 2021.
Pelé took to Instagram Thursday to thank fans for the positive messages and “good vibes” he had received.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé urged his Twitter followers on Saturday to “Pray for the King” — a reference to the Brazil great’s nickname — tagging Pelé in his tweet.
Meanwhile, Brazilian soccer star Vinicius Jr., who is playing for the national team at Qatar 2022, and former Brazil great Rivaldo took to social media to urge the legend to “stay strong.”
The 82-year-old’s former club Santos FC added: “The whole world … is together with you, King Pele!”, while soccer’s governing body FIFA told the star to “get well soon.”
In December 2021, Pelé was hospitalized and underwent chemotherapy treatment. In September of that year, he underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his right colon, which doctors found during routine examinations
Pelé is widely considered to be one of the greatest soccer players in history.
He played in four World Cups, winning three — in 1958, 1962, 1970) — and scoring 12 goals in 14 games. He scored 1,281 goals in his professional career in 1,363 games.
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.