Hundreds of fans of soccer legend Pelé pray in front of hospital for his recovery

Pelé Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé | Credit: Shutterstock

More than a hundred Santos Soccer Club fans gathered Sunday in front of the hospital in Brazil where Pelé, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, is undergoing treatment, to pray for his recovery.

The website reported that around 1 p.m. on Dec. 4, fans formed a circle, lit candles, held hands, and prayed an Our Father and a Hail Mary, followed by a round of applause.

“We are here with spiritual strength so that, in this very difficult moment that the King is going through, he can rise up with more strength, because this battle is one of the toughest of his life,” Marcos Bispo dos Santos, an admirer of the three-time world champion with the Brazilian team, told   Agence France-Presse.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, has been hospitalized since Nov. 29 at Albert Einstein Hospital on Sao Paulo’s south side to reevaluate a treatment for colon cancer, which was diagnosed in September 2021.

The hospital reported Dec. 3 that Pelé is in stable condition and responded well to treatment for a respiratory infection detected during the week.

“I want everyone to stay calm and positive. I’m strong, with a lot of hope, and I’m following my treatment as always,” the 82-year-old sports idol said on Instagram.

“I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you around the world keeps me energized. And look at Brazil in the World Cup too!” he added.

The former soccer player’s health has deteriorated in recent years also due to other causes, such as spinal, hip, and knee problems, which have reduced his mobility and forced him to undergo surgery, in addition to suffering from serious kidney problems.

“We hope that Pelé recovers, we know that this is a very difficult moment in his life. This is just a tribute from people who are from Santos, so that they know that we are here cheering him on and praying for him,” said fan Ciro Estivalli Dos Santos.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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